|CHPASS(1)||General Commands Manual||CHPASS(1)|
chsh — add or change user
chpass allows editing of the user database
information associated with user, or, by default, the
current user. The information is formatted and supplied to an editor for
Only the information that the user is allowed to change is displayed.
The options are as follows:
Possible display items are as follows:
The login field is the user name used to access the computer account.
The password field contains the encrypted form of the user's password.
The uid field is the number associated with the login field. Both of these fields should be unique across the system (and often across a group of systems) as they control file access.
While it is possible to have multiple entries with identical login names and/or identical user IDs, 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 group field is the group that the user will be placed in at login. Since BSD supports multiple groups (see groups(1)), this field currently has little special meaning. This field may be filled in with either a number or a group name (see group(5)).
The change field is the date by which the password must be changed.
The expire field is the date on which the account expires.
Both the change and expire fields should be entered in the form month day year where month is the month name (the first three characters are sufficient), day is the day of the month, and year is the year.
The class field specifies a key in the login.conf(5) database of login class attributes. If empty, the “default” record is used.
The user's home directory is the full UNIX path name where the user will be placed at login.
The shell field is the command interpreter the user prefers. If the shell field is empty, the Bourne shell (/bin/sh) is assumed. When altering a login shell, and not the superuser, the user may not change from a non-standard shell or to a non-standard shell. Non-standard is defined as a shell not found in /etc/shells.
The last four fields are for storing the user's full name, office location, and work and home telephone numbers.
Once the information has been verified,
pwd_mkdb(8) to update the user
The vi(1) editor will be used
unless the environment variable
EDITOR is set to an
alternate editor. When the editor terminates, the information is re-read and
used to update the user database itself. Only the user, or the superuser,
may edit the information associated with the user.
The password file is currently locked by another process;
chpass will keep trying to lock the password
file until it succeeds or the user hits the interrupt character
(control-C by default). If
chpass is interrupted
while trying to gain the lock, any changes made will be lost.
If the process holding the lock was prematurely terminated,
the lock file may be stale and
chpass will wait
forever trying to lock the password file. To determine whether a live
process is actually holding the lock, the admin may run the
$ fstat /etc/ptmp
If no process is listed, it is safe to remove the /etc/ptmp file to clear the error.
Robert Morris and Ken Thompson, Password security: a case history, Communications of the ACM, Issue 11, Volume 22, pp. 594–597, Nov. 1979.
chpass command appeared in
|March 31, 2022||OpenBSD-current|