Switch to SpeakEasy.net DSL

The Modular Manual Browser

Home Page
Manual: (OpenBSD-3.6)
Apropos / Subsearch:
optional field

PWD_MKDB(8)             OpenBSD 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 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 argument is installed into
     /etc/master.passwd by renaming file.  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:

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

     -p      Create a Version 7 style 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 pass-
             word there is no reason to update it if the only change is in the
             password field.  Cannot be used in conjunction with the -p flag.

     -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.

     -u username
             Only update the record for the specified user.  Utilities that
             operate on a single user can use this option to avoid the over-
             head 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 format, as described
             in passwd(5).

     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  current password file
     /etc/passwd         a Version 7 format 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

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

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

     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.

OpenBSD 3.6                      June 6, 1993                                2