PWD_MKDB(8)                 System Manager's Manual                PWD_MKDB(8)


     pwd_mkdb - generate the password databases


     pwd_mkdb [-c] [-p | -s] [-d directory] [-u username] file


     pwd_mkdb creates a pair of Berkeley databases from file and installs them
     into /etc/spwd.db and /etc/pwd.db.  The file argument is renamed to

     The options are as follows:

     -c      Check whether file is in the correct format.  Do not change, add,
             or remove any files.

     -d directory
             Operate in a base directory other than the default of /etc.  All
             absolute paths (including file) will be made relative to
             directory.  Any directories specified as a part of file will be
             stripped off.  This option is used to create password databases
             in directories other than /etc; for instance in a chroot(8) jail.

     -p      Also create a legacy password file and install it into

     -s      Only update the secure version of the database.  This is most
             commonly used in conjunction with the -u flag during a password
             change.  Because the insecure database doesn't contain the
             password there is no reason to update it if the only change is in
             the password field.  Cannot be used in conjunction with the -p

     -u username
             Only update the record for the specified user.  Utilities that
             operate on a single user can use this option to avoid the
             overhead of rebuilding the entire database.  This option must
             never be used if the line number of the user's record in
             /etc/master.passwd has changed.

     file    The absolute path to a file in master.passwd(5) format.

     The two databases differ in that the secure version contains the user's
     encrypted password and the insecure version has an asterisk (`*').

     The databases are used by the C library password routines (see


     /etc/master.passwd  current password file
     /etc/passwd         legacy password file
     /etc/pwd.db         insecure password database file
     /etc/pwd.db.tmp     temporary file
     /etc/spwd.db        secure password database file
     /etc/spwd.db.tmp    temporary file


     The pwd_mkdb utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


     chpass(1), passwd(1), dbopen(3), getpwent(3), passwd(5), vipw(8)


     The pwd_mkdb utility first appeared in 4.3BSD-Net/2.


     Keith Bostic


     Because of the necessity for atomic update of the password files,
     pwd_mkdb uses rename(2) to install them.  This, however, requires that
     the file specified on the command line live on the same file system as
     the /etc directory.

     There are the obvious races with multiple people running pwd_mkdb on
     different password files at the same time.  The front-ends to pwd_mkdb,
     chpass(1), passwd(1), and vipw(8) handle the locking necessary to avoid
     this problem.

OpenBSD 6.2                   September 10, 2017                   OpenBSD 6.2

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