Unable to Login after Creating Initial Admin Account Using tabcmd initialuser

Published: 14 Feb 2018
Last Modified Date: 31 Jan 2020


After creating the initial admin account using the command line tabcmd initialuser, logging into the web interface results in the following error on Tableau Server on Linux

"Invalid username or password."


  • Tableau Server
  • Linux


If the password contains special characters:

Option 1

When setting tabcmd initialuser, If the password contains special characters such as $, use single quotes instead of double quotes to ensure all special characters are treated as literals.

Option 2

If the password has already been set, the options to resolve this issue are the following:
  • Log in using the password as interpreted by the shell, as indicated in the "Root Cause" section of this article. You may then change the password to one of your choosing.
  • Or, redeploy, paying attention to special characters in the password and making sure to use single quotes to enclose the password.
  • Or, contact Tableau Technical Support to schedule a manual reset of the password.

If a core based license is in use:

  1. Reduce the number of licensed processes to be below the maximum allowed by the license.
  2. Use the tsm reset command to clear the initial admin user so that you can recreate it once the licensing issue has been resolved.



Cause 1

In Linux, a single quote is used to represent a literal, where variables cannot be used, but double quotes can use variables.

In Linux, $ is used to represent variables in the shell.  

In order to set a password with a $ as anything other than the last character, you need to use single quotes around the password for tabcmd initialuser. Otherwise, everything starting with the $ will be removed from the password, or replaced by the contents of a matching variable.

password is actually: my
password is my$password
Cause 2

In the case that a Linux deployment has a core based Tableau Server license, and too many licensed processes have been configured, it is no longer possible for a license to be assigned to the initialuser, and the initialuser task does not complete.
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