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Can't get past admin account password section

I can open the admin console, but everytime, it starts over at the install section.

This should be a new install because I uninstalled the old 32-bit version (Opensuse Leap 42.2) and installed the Openfire 4.1 64-bit version.

I set up the mysql database (which was empty) and then it asks me to set the admin password. But it refuses to accept admin as the old password, or empty, or my old admin password. I presume this is the Openfire admin password, not the database password.

How do I proceed?

When i start a fresh installation of 4.1 it doesn’t show me a field for old password. Just the new password and confirm the new password. So it is not completely fresh in your case i think. Or this is a permissions issue (which would also explain the repeating setup process). Make sure that the user running Openfire can write into its installation folder and all the sub directories. I have no experience with OpenSUSE, not sure how to uninstall Openfire cleanly.

If you use the internal database, you do not get the old password prompt. I finally gave up and used the internal database, but everytime there is an openfire update, all my entries are lost. The update instructions say to copy the old directory, but not how to restore the old settings,

I can’t confirm that, but i have filed this as [OF-1253] Setup asks for the old password on a fresh install when not using Embedded DB - IgniteRealtime JIRA

There is nothing in the documentation (especially for the external database) as you shouldn’t do anything after the update. Everything should stay intact. This is some strange issue in your case. Unless you are doing something unnecessary during the update.