I attempted to update my password on Ubuntu today and encountered a strange error. I thought I’d disseminate my solution in hopes that it saves other time. A few suggest playing with pwconvert, /etc/shadow and /etc/passwd, but my solution was much simpler.
Basically, if you run passwd and receive the error,”passwd: Authentication token manipulation error”, the culprit is likely Likewise Open. Unfortunately, even having this installed — but not configured — will prevent you from using passwd to update a local users’s password. Fortunately, the fix is very easy if you don’t actually use Likewise Open – just remove it from your system with this command:
sudo apt-get remove likewise-open
Confirm the prompts and after apt-get is done, you should be able to use passwd like normal. Thanks to Bug 302026 for guiding me to the solution. The bad news is that if you need to change the password of a local account and need Likewise Open installed, you might be out of luck.