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PASSWD(5)		    BSD	File Formats Manual		     PASSWD(5)

     passwd, master.passwd -- format of	the password file

     The passwd	files are the local source of password information.  They can
     be	used in	conjunction with the Hesiod domains `passwd' and `uid',	and
     the NIS maps `passwd.byname', `passwd.byuid', `master.passwd.byname', and
     `master.passwd.byuid', as controlled by nsswitch.conf(5).

     For consistency, none of these files should ever be modified manually.

     The master.passwd file is readable	only by	root, and consists of newline
     separated records,	one per	user, containing ten colon (`:') separated
     fields.  These fields are as follows:

	   name	     User's login name.

	   password  User's encrypted password.

	   uid	     User's id.

	   gid	     User's login group	id.

	   class     User's login class.

	   change    Password change time.

	   expire    Account expiration	time.

	   gecos     General information about the user.

	   home_dir  User's home directory.

	   shell     User's login shell.

     The passwd	file is	generated from the master.passwd file by pwd_mkdb(8),
     has the class, change, and	expire fields removed, and the password	field
     replaced by a `*' character.

     The name field is the login used to access	the computer account, and the
     uid field is the number associated	with it.  They should both be unique
     across the	system (and often across a group of systems) since they	con-
     trol file access.

     While it is possible to have multiple entries with	identical login	names
     and/or identical user id's, it is usually a mistake to do so.  Routines
     that manipulate these files will often return only	one of the multiple
     entries, and that one by random selection.

     The login name must not begin with	a hyphen (`-'),	and cannot contain
     8-bit characters, tabs or spaces, or any of these symbols:
     `,:+&#%^()!@~*?<>=|\/"'.  The dollar symbol (`$') is allowed only as the
     last character for	use with Samba.	 No field may contain a	colon (`:') as
     this has been used	historically to	separate the fields in the user	data-

     Case is significant.  Login names `Lrrr' and `lrrr' represent different
     users.  Be	aware of this when interoperating with systems that do not
     have case-sensitive login names.

     In	the master.passwd file,	the password field is the encrypted form of
     the password, see crypt(3).  If the password field	is empty, no password
     will be required to gain access to	the machine.  This is almost invari-
     ably a mistake, so	authentication components such as PAM can forcibly
     disallow remote access to passwordless accounts.  Because this file con-
     tains the encrypted user passwords, it should not be readable by anyone
     without appropriate privileges.

     A password	of `*' indicates that password authentication is disabled for
     that account (logins through other	forms of authentication, e.g., using
     ssh(1) keys, will still work).  The field only contains encrypted pass-
     words, and	`*' can	never be the result of encrypting a password.

     An	encrypted password prefixed by `*LOCKED*' means	that the account is
     temporarily locked	out and	no one can log into it using any authentica-
     tion.  For	a convenient command-line interface to account locking,	see

     The group field is	the group that the user	will be	placed in upon login.
     Since this	system supports	multiple groups	(see groups(1))	this field
     currently has little special meaning.

     The class field is	a key for a user's login class.	 Login classes are de-
     fined in login.conf(5), which is a	termcap(5) style database of user at-
     tributes, accounting, resource, and environment settings.

     The change	field is the number of seconds from the	epoch, UTC, until the
     password for the account must be changed.	This field may be left empty
     to	turn off the password aging feature; a value of	zero is	equivalent to
     leaving the field empty.

     The expire	field is the number of seconds from the	epoch, UTC, until the
     account expires.  This field may be left empty to turn off	the account
     aging feature; a value of zero is equivalent to leaving the field empty.

     The gecos field normally contains comma (`,') separated subfields as fol-

	   name	   user's full name
	   office  user's office number
	   wphone  user's work phone number
	   hphone  user's home phone number

     The full name may contain an ampersand (`&') which	will be	replaced by
     the capitalized login name	when the gecos field is	displayed or used by
     various programs such as finger(1), sendmail(8), etc.

     The office	and phone number subfields are used by the finger(1) program,
     and possibly other	applications.

     The user's	home directory,	home_dir, is the full UNIX path	name where the
     user will be placed on login.

     The shell field is	the command interpreter	the user prefers.  If there is
     nothing in	the shell field, the Bourne shell (/bin/sh) is assumed.	 The
     conventional way to disable logging into an account once and for all, as
     it	is done	for system accounts, is	to set its shell to /sbin/nologin (see

     If	`dns' is specified for the `passwd' database in	nsswitch.conf(5), then
     passwd lookups occur from the `passwd' Hesiod domain.

     If	`nis' is specified for the `passwd' database in	nsswitch.conf(5), then
     passwd lookups occur from the `passwd.byname', `passwd.byuid',
     `master.passwd.byname', and `master.passwd.byuid' NIS maps.

     If	`compat' is specified for the `passwd' database, and either `dns' or
     `nis' is specified	for the	`passwd_compat'	database in nsswitch.conf(5),
     then the passwd file also supports	standard `+/-' exclusions and inclu-
     sions, based on user names	and netgroups.

     Lines beginning with a `-'	(minus sign) are entries marked	as being ex-
     cluded from any following inclusions, which are marked with a `+' (plus

     If	the second character of	the line is a `@' (at sign), the operation in-
     volves the	user fields of all entries in the netgroup specified by	the
     remaining characters of the name field.  Otherwise, the remainder of the
     name field	is assumed to be a specific user name.

     The `+' token may also be alone in	the name field,	which causes all users
     from either the Hesiod domain passwd (with	`passwd_compat:	dns') or
     `passwd.byname' and `passwd.byuid'	NIS maps (with `passwd_compat: nis')
     to	be included.

     If	the entry contains non-empty uid or gid	fields,	the specified numbers
     will override the information retrieved from the Hesiod domain or the NIS
     maps.  Likewise, if the gecos, dir	or shell entries contain text, it will
     override the information included via Hesiod or NIS.  On some systems,
     the passwd	field may also be overridden.

     /etc/passwd	 ASCII password	file, with passwords removed
     /etc/pwd.db	 db(3)-format password database, with passwords	re-
     /etc/master.passwd	 ASCII password	file, with passwords intact
     /etc/spwd.db	 db(3)-format password database, with passwords	intact

     The password file format has changed since	4.3BSD.	 The following awk
     script can	be used	to convert your	old-style password file	into a new
     style password file.  The additional fields class,	change and expire are
     added, but	are turned off by default (setting these fields	to zero	is
     equivalent	to leaving them	blank).	 Class is currently not	implemented,
     but change	and expire are;	to set them, use the current day in seconds
     from the epoch + whatever number of seconds of offset you want.

	   BEGIN { FS =	":"}
	   { print $1 ":" $2 ":" $3 ":"	$4 "::0:0:" $5 ":" $6 ":" $7 }

     chpass(1),	login(1), passwd(1), crypt(3), getpwent(3), login.conf(5),
     netgroup(5), nsswitch.conf(5), adduser(8),	nologin(8), pw(8),
     pwd_mkdb(8), vipw(8), yp(8)

     Managing NFS and NIS (O'Reilly & Associates)

     A passwd file format appeared in Version 6	AT&T UNIX.

     The NIS passwd file format	first appeared in SunOS.

     The Hesiod	support	first appeared in FreeBSD 4.1.	It was imported	from
     the NetBSD	Project, where it first	appeared in NetBSD 1.4.

     User information should (and eventually will) be stored elsewhere.

     Placing `compat' exclusions in the	file after any inclusions will have
     unexpected	results.

BSD				 May 29, 2014				   BSD


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