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PiKVM comes with the following default passwords

  • Linux admin (SSH, console, etc.): user root, password root.
  • PiKVM Web Interface (API, VNC...): user admin, password admin, no 2FA code.

These are two separate entities with independent accounts.

There is another special Linux user: kvmd-webterm

It can't be used for login or remote access to PiKVM OS and has the non-privileged rights in the OS. Password access and sudo is disabled for it. It is used only for launching the Web Terminal. These restrictions are set for security reasons.

Changing the VNCAuth passkey and IPMI password described in the relevant documents.

Root access in the Web Terminal

As mentioned above, the Web Terminal runs under user kvmd-webterm with disabled sudo and password access. However, most PiKVM administration commands require the root access. To obtain it in the Web Terminal, type su - and then enter the root user password:

[kvmd-webterm@pikvm ~]$ su -
[root@pikvm kvmd-webterm]#
Step by step: Disabling the Web Terminal

Sometimes the actual owner of a PiKVM device and the user who is allowed to use it are different people. So you may want to disable console access from the Web UI. To do this, use the following:

[root@pikvm ~]# rw
[root@pikvm ~]# systemctl disable --now kvmd-webterm
[root@pikvm ~]# ro

For your own access to PiKVM OS, you will still have SSH.

Changing the Linux password

[root@pikvm ~]# rw
[root@pikvm ~]# passwd root
[root@pikvm ~]# ro

Changing the KVM password

This password is used, among the Web UI login, to access the API, VNC (if enabled) and other functions that do not concern the OS shell.

By default, an authentication method similar to Apache Server is configured: users and passwords are stored encrypted in the /etc/kvmd/htpasswd file. To manage them, there is a utility kvmd-htpasswd.

[root@pikvm ~]# rw
[root@pikvm ~]# kvmd-htpasswd set admin
[root@pikvm ~]# ro

Please note that admin is a name of a default user. It is possible to create several different users with different passwords to access the Web UI, but keep in mind that they all have the same rights:

[root@pikvm ~]# kvmd-htpasswd set <user> # Sets a new user with password
[root@pikvm ~]# kvmd-htpasswd list # Show the list of users
[root@pikvm ~]# kvmd-htpasswd del <user> # Removes/deletes a user

At the moment there is no way to create any ACL for different KVM users.

Two-factor authentication

This is a new method of strengthening the protection of PiKVM, available since KVM >= 3.196. It is strongly recommended to enable it if you expose the PiKVM in the big and scary Internet.


Using 2FA eliminates the possibility of using IPMI and VNC with vncauth (both disabled by default). It also slightly affects the use of API and regular VNC with user/password, read below.

Please note that 2FA does not concern the Linux OS access for the root user, so take care of a strong password for it for SSH access (or setup the key access).

Step by step: Enabling 2FA on PiKVM
  1. Update OS and reboot:

    Updating PiKVM OS

    To update, run following commands under the root user:

    [root@pikvm ~]# pikvm-update

    If you encounter an error like:

    [root@pikvm ~]# pikvm-update
    bash: pikvm-update: command not found

    It's most likely you have an old OS release. You can update the OS as follows:

    [root@pikvm ~]# rw
    [root@pikvm ~]# pacman -Syy
    [root@pikvm ~]# pacman -S pikvm-os-updater
    [root@pikvm ~]# pikvm-update

    Next time you will be able to use the usual method with pikvm-update.

  2. Make sure that NTP is running otherwise you will not be able to access (timedatectl command). The timezone doesn't matter.

  3. Install the Google Authenticator app to your mobile device (iOS, Android). It will generate one-time access codes.

  4. Create a secret for one-time codes on PiKVM:

    [root@pikvm ~]# rw
    [root@pikvm ~]# kvmd-totp init
    [root@pikvm ~]# ro
  5. Run the Google Authenticator and scan the QR code.

  6. Now, on the PiKVM login page, you will need to add 6 digits to the 2FA code field.

All Web UI users will be required to enter a one-time password on login. In other words, the secret is the same for all users.


With 2FA for API or VNC authentication, you will need to append the one-time code to the password without spaces. That is, if the password is foobar and the code is 123456, then you need to use foobar123456 as the password.

To view the current QR code of the secret use command kvmd-totp show.

To disable 2FA and remove the secret, use command kvmd-totp del.