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Network Information Services (NIS and NIS+) Guide

Passwd Table

The passwd table contains information about the accounts of users in a domain. These users generally are, but are not required to be, NIS+ principals. Remember though, that if they are NIS+ principals, their credentials are not stored here, but in the domain's cred table. The passwd table usually grants read permission to the world (or to nobody).

Note: This table should not contain any entry for the root user (user ID 0). Store and maintain root's password information in the machine's /etc files.

The information in the passwd table is added when users' accounts are created.

The passwd table contains the following columns:

Passwd Table
Column Description
Name User's login name, which is assigned when the user's account is created; the name can contain no uppercase characters and can have a maximum of eight characters
Passwd User's encrypted password
UID User's numerical ID, assigned when the user's account is created
GID Numerical ID of the user's default group
GCOS User's real name plus information that the user wishes to include in the From: field of a mail-message heading; an "&" in this column simply uses the user's login name
Home Path name of the user's home directory.
Shell User's initial shell program.
Shadow (See Passwd Table Shadow Column (the following table).)

The passwd table shadow column stores restricted information about user accounts. It includes the following information:

Passwd Table Shadow Column
Item Description
Lastchg Number of days between January 1, 1970, and the date the password was last modified
Min Minimum number of days recommended between password changes
Max Maximum number of days that the password is valid
Warn Number of days that a user receives warning before being notified that his or her password has expired
Inactive Number of days of inactivity allowed for the user
Expire Absolute date past which the user's account is no longer valid
Flag Reserved for future use: currently set to 0.

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