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passwd(4)                        File Formats                        passwd(4)

       passwd - password file


       The file /etc/passwd is a local source of information about users'
       accounts. The password file can be used in conjunction with other
       password sources, such as the NIS maps passwd.byname and passwd.bygid
       and the NIS+ table passwd. Programs use the getpwnam(3C) routines to
       access this information.

       Each passwd entry is a single line of the form:



             is the user's login name. It is recommended that this field
             conform to the checks performed by pwck(1M).

             is an empty field. The encrypted password for the user is in the
             corresponding entry in the /etc/shadow file. pwconv(1M) relies on
             a special value of 'x' in the password field of /etc/passwd. If
             this value of 'x' exists in the password field of /etc/passwd,
             this indicates that the password for the user is already in
             /etc/shadow and should not be modified.

       uid   is the user's unique numerical ID for the system.

       gid   is the unique numerical ID of the group that the user belongs to.

             is the user's real name, along with information to pass along in
             a mail-message heading. (It is called the gcos-field for
             historical reasons.) An ``&'' (ampersand) in this field stands
             for the login name (in cases where the login name appears in a
             user's real name).

             is the pathname to the directory in which the user is initially
             positioned upon logging in.

             is the user's initial shell program. If this field is empty, the
             default shell is /usr/bin/sh.

       The maximum value of the uid and gid fields is 2147483647. To maximize
       interoperability and compatibility, administrators are recommended to
       assign users a range of UIDs and GIDs below 60000 where possible.

       The password file is an ASCII file. Because the encrypted passwords are
       always kept in the shadow file, /etc/passwd has general read permission
       on all systems and can be used by routines that map between numerical
       user IDs and user names.

       Blank lines are treated as malformed entries in the passwd file and
       cause consumers of the file , such as getpwnam(3C), to fail.

       Previous releases used a password entry beginning with a `+' (plus
       sign) or `-' (minus sign) to selectively incorporate entries from NIS
       maps for password. If still required, this is supported by specifying
       ``passwd : compat'' in nsswitch.conf(4). The "compat" source might not
       be supported in future releases. The preferred sources are files
       followed by the identifier of a name service, such as nis or ldap. This
       has the effect of incorporating the entire contents of the name
       service's passwd database after the passwd file.

       Example 1: Sample passwd file

       Here is a sample passwd file:

       fred:6k/7KCFRPNVXg:508:10:& Fredericks:/usr2/fred:/bin/csh

       and the sample password entry from nsswitch.conf:

       passwd: files nisplus

       In this example, there are specific entries for users root and fred to
       assure that they can login even when the system is running single-user.
       In addition, anyone in the NIS+ table passwd will be able to login with
       their usual password, shell, and home directory.

       If the password file is:

       fred:6k/7KCFRPNVXg:508:10:& Fredericks:/usr2/fred:/bin/csh

       and the password entry from nsswitch.conf is:

       passwd: compat

       then all the entries listed in the NIS passwd.byuid and passwd.byname
       maps will be effectively incorporated after the entries for root and




       chgrp(1), chown(1), finger(1), groups(1), login(1), newgrp(1),
       nispasswd(1), passwd(1), sh(1), sort(1), chown(1M), domainname(1M),
       getent(1M), in.ftpd(1M), passmgmt(1M), pwck(1M), pwconv(1M), su(1M),
       useradd(1M), userdel(1M), usermod(1M), a64l(3C), crypt(3C), getpw(3C),
       getpwnam(3C), getspnam(3C), putpwent(3C), group(4), hosts.equiv(4),
       nsswitch.conf(4), shadow(4), environ(5), unistd(3HEAD)

       System Administration Guide: Basic Administration

SunOS 5.9                         3 Oct 2001                         passwd(4)


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