CHPASS(1) BSD Reference Manual CHPASS(1)
chpass - add or change user database information
chpass [-a list] [-s newshell] [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 changes.
Only the information that the user is allowed to change is displayed.
The options are as follows:
-a The super-user is allowed to directly supply a user database en-
try, 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.
-s The -s option attempts to change the user's shell to newshell.
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
Location: user's normal location
Home Phone: user's home phone
Office Phone: user's office 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 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 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 is currently unused. In the near future it will be a key
to a termcap(5) style database of user attributes.
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 alter-
ing a login shell, and not the super-user, 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 home and work 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 super-user, may edit the information associated with the user.
/etc/master.passwd The user database
/etc/passwd A Version 7 format password file
/etc/chpass.XXXXXX Temporary copy of the password file
/etc/shells The list of approved shells
login(1), finger(1), passwd(1), getusershell(3), passwd(5),
and Robert Morris, and Ken Thompson, UNIX Password security.
User information should (and eventually will) be stored elsewhere.
The chpass command appeared in 4.3BSD-Reno.
4.4BSD December 30, 1993 2