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PW.CONF(5)                FreeBSD File Formats Manual               PW.CONF(5)

NAME
     pw.conf -- format of the pw.conf configuration file

DESCRIPTION
     The file </etc/pw.conf> contains configuration data for the pw(8) pro-
     gram.  The pw(8) program is used for maintenance of the system password
     and group files, allowing users and groups to be added, deleted and
     changed.  This file may be modified via the pw(8) command using the
     useradd command and the -D option, or by editing it directly with a text
     editor.

     Each line in </etc/pw.conf> is treated either a comment or as configura-
     tion data; blank lines and lines commencing with a `#' character are con-
     sidered comments, and any remaining lines are examined for a leading key-
     word, followed by corresponding data.

     Keywords recognized by pw(8) are:
           defaultpasswd  affect passwords generated for new users
           reuseuids      reuse gaps in uid sequences
           reusegids      reuse gaps in gid sequences
           nispasswd      path to the NIS passwd database
           skeleton       where to obtain default home contents
           newmail        mail to send to new users
           logfile        log user/group modifications to this file
           home           root directory for home directories
           shellpath      paths in which to locate shell programs
           shells         list of valid shells (without path)
           defaultshell   default shell (without path)
           defaultgroup   default group
           extragroups    add new users to this groups
           defaultclass   place new users in this login class
           minuid
           maxuid         range of valid default user ids
           mingid
           maxgid         range of valid default group ids
           expire_days    days after which account expires
           password_days  days after which password expires

     Valid values for defaultpasswd are:
           no             disable login on newly created accounts
           yes            force the password to be the account name
           none           force a blank password
           random         generate a random password

     The second and third options are insecure and should be avoided if possi-
     ble on a publicly accessible system.  The first option requires that the
     superuser run passwd(1) to set a password before the account may be used.
     This may also be useful for creating administrative accounts.  The final
     option causes pw(8) to respond by printing a randomly generated password
     on stdout.  This is the preferred and most secure option.  Pw(8) also
     provides a method of setting a specific password for the new user via a
     filehandle (command lines are not secure).

     Both reuseuids and reusegids determine the method by which new user and
     group id numbers are generated.  A `yes' in this field will cause pw(8)
     to search for the first unused user or group id within the allowed range,
     whereas a `no' will ensure that no other existing user or group id within
     the range is numerically lower than the new one generated, and therefore
     avoids reusing gaps in the user or group id sequence that are caused by
     previous user or group deletions.  Note that if the default group is not
     specified using the defaultgroup keyword, pw(8) will create a new group
     for the user and attempt to keep the new user's uid and gid the same.  If
     the new user's uid is currently in use as a group id, then the next
     available group id is chosen instead.

     On NIS servers which maintain a separate passwd database to
     /etc/master.passwd, this option allows the additional file to be concur-
     rently updated as user records are added, modified or removed.  If blank
     or set to 'no', no additional database is updated.  An absolute pathname
     must be used.

     The skeleton keyword nominates a directory from which the contents of a
     user's new home directory is constructed.  This is /usr/share/skel by
     default.  Pw(8)'s -m option causes the user's home directory to be cre-
     ated and populated using the files contained in the skeleton directory.

     To send an initial email to new users, the newmail keyword may be used to
     specify a path name to a file containing the message body of the message
     to be sent.  To avoid sending mail when accounts are created, leave this
     entry blank or specify `no'.

     The logfile option allows logging of password file modifications into the
     nominated log file.  To avoid creating or adding to such a logfile, then
     leave this field blank or specify `no'.

     The home keyword is mandatory.  This specifies the location of the direc-
     tory in which all new user home directories are created.

     shellpath specifies a list of directories - separated by colons `:' -
     which contain the programs used by the login shells.

     The shells keyword specifies a list of programs available for use as
     login shells.  This list is a comma-separated list of shell names which
     should not contain a path.  These shells must exist in one of the direc-
     tories nominated by shellpath.

     The defaultshell keyword nominates which shell program to use for new
     users when none is specified on the pw(8) command line.

     The defaultgroup keyword defines the primary group (the group id number
     in the password file) used for new accounts.  If left blank, or the word
     `no' is used, then each new user will have a corresponding group of their
     own created automatically.  This is the recommended procedure for new
     users as it best secures each user's files against interference by other
     users of the system irrespective of the umask normally used by the user.

     extragroups provides an automatic means of placing new users into groups
     within the /etc/groups file.  This is useful where all users share some
     resources, and is preferable to placing users into the same primary
     group.  The effect of this keyword can be overridden using the -G option
     on the pw(8) command line.

     The defaultclass field determines the login class (See login.conf(5))
     that new users will be allocated unless overwritten by pw(8).

     The minuid, maxuid, mingid, maxgid keywords determines the allowed ranges
     of automatically allocated user and group id numbers.  The default values
     for both user and group ids are 1000 and 32000 as minimum and maximum
     respectively.  The user and group id's actually used when creating an
     account with pw(8) may be overridden using the -u and -g command line
     options.

     The expire_days and password_days are used to automatically calculate the
     number of days from the date on which an account is created when the
     account will expire or the user will be forced to change the account's
     password.  A value of `0' in either field will disable the corresponding
     (account or password) expiration date.

LIMITS
     The maximum line length of /etc/pw.conf is 1024 characters.  Longer lines
     will be skipped and treated as comments.

FILES
     /etc/pw.conf
     /etc/passwd
     /etc/master.passwd
     /etc/group

SEE ALSO
     passwd(1), group(5), login.conf(5), passwd(5), pw(8)

FreeBSD 4.10                   December 9, 1996                   FreeBSD 4.10

NAME | DESCRIPTION | LIMITS | FILES | SEE ALSO

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