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With KVM hypervisor resetting the password of an instance is not supported using nova 'root-password' due to limitations of KVM. The 'nova root-password' is only supported in xenapi with a guest agent running.

However you may inject password in instances at launching time on Libvirt-based hypervisors (KVM, QEMU, LXC).

For hypervisors such as KVM that use the libvirt backend, admin/root password injection is disabled by default. To enable it, set the following option in /etc/nova/nova.conf:

[libvirt]

inject_password=true

When enabled, Compute will modify the password of the root account by editing the /etc/shadow file inside of the virtual machine instance.

Users can only ssh to the instance by using the admin password if:

  1. The virtual machine image is a Linux distribution
  2. The virtual machine has been configured to allow users to ssh as the root user. This is not the case for Ubuntu cloud images, which disallow ssh to the root account by default.