CHPASS(1) General Commands Manual CHPASS(1)
chpass, chfn, chsh - add or change user database information
chpass [-ly] [-s newshell] [user]
chpass [-l] -a list
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 changes.
Only the information that the user is allowed to change is displayed.
If YP is enabled change requests are first tried in the local database,
and then in the YP database, if there was no entry to change locally.
chfn and chsh are synonyms for chpass.
The options are as follows:
The superuser is allowed to directly supply a user database
entry, in the format specified by passwd(5), as an argument.
This argument must be a colon (`:') separated list of all the
user database fields, although they may be empty. This operation
is not supported in YP environments; only local additions can be
performed which requires the -l flag to be specified.
-l In environments where YP is enabled, always alter local
information as opposed to information in YP.
Attempts to change the user's shell to newshell.
-y In environments where YP is enabled, always change the YP entry,
even if this is a modification request and there is a local entry
for the specified user.
Possible display items are as follows:
Login: user's login name
Password: user's encrypted password
Uid: user's login
Gid: user's login group
Change: password change time
Expire: account expiration time
Class: user's general classification
Home Directory: user's home directory
Shell: user's login shell
Full Name: user's real name
Office Location: user's office location
Office Phone: user's office phone
Home Phone: user's home phone
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, chpass uses pwd_mkdb(8) to update
the user database.
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.
/etc/master.passwd user database
/etc/passwd user database, with confidential information
/etc/ptmp lock file for the passwd database
/etc/shells list of approved shells
/var/tmp/pw.XXXXXXXXXX temporary copy of the user passwd information
Attempting to lock password file, please wait or press ^C to abort
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 following:
$ fstat /etc/ptmp
If no process is listed, it is safe to remove the /etc/ptmp file to clear
finger(1), login(1), passwd(1), getusershell(3), login.conf(5),
passwd(5), pwd_mkdb(8), vipw(8)
Robert Morris and Ken Thompson, "Password security: a case history",
Communications of the ACM, Issue 11, Volume 22, 594-597, Nov. 1979.
The chpass command appeared in 4.3BSD-Reno.
OpenBSD 5.7 November 15, 2014 OpenBSD 5.7
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