Switch to SpeakEasy.net DSL

The Modular Manual Browser

Home Page
Manual: (4.4BSD-Lite2)
Apropos / Subsearch:
optional field

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

     pwd_mkdb - generate the password databases

     pwd_mkdb [-p] file

     Pwd_mkdb creates db(3) style secure and insecure databases for the speci-
     fied file.  These databases are then installed into ``/etc/spwd.db'' and
     ``/etc/pwd.db'' respectively.  The file is installed into
     ``/etc/master.passwd''. The file must be in the correct format (see
     passwd(5)).  It is important to note that the format used in this system
     is different from the historic Version 7 style format.

     The options are as follows:

     -p    Create a Version 7 style password file and install it into

     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

     Pwd_mkdb exits zero on success, non-zero on failure.

     /etc/master.passwd                The current password file.
     /etc/passwd                       A Version 7 format password file.
     /etc/pwd.db                       The insecure password database file.
     /etc/pwd.db.tmp                   A temporary file.
     /etc/spwd.db                      The secure password database file.
     /etc/spwd.db.tmp                  A temporary file.

     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 dif-
     ferent 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.

     Previous versions of the system had a program similar to pwd_mkdb,
     mkpasswd(8),  which built dbm(3) style databases for the password file
     but depended on the calling programs to install them.  The program was
     renamed in order that previous users of the program not be surprised by
     the changes in functionality.

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

4.4BSD                          April 27, 1995                               1