The chage command changes the number of days between
password changes and the date of the last password change. This information
is used by the system to determine when a user must change their
The options which apply to the chage command are:
-d, --lastday LAST_DAY
Set the number of days since January 1st, 1970 when the
password was last changed. The date may also be expressed in the format
YYYY-MM-DD (or the format more commonly used in your area).
-E, --expiredate EXPIRE_DATE
Set the date or number of days since January 1, 1970 on
which the user's account will no longer be accessible. The date may also be
expressed in the format YYYY-MM-DD (or the format more commonly used in your
area). A user whose account is locked must contact the system administrator
before being able to use the system again.
Passing the number -1 as the EXPIRE_DATE will remove
an account expiration date.
When printing dates, use YYYY-MM-DD format.
-I, --inactive INACTIVE
Set the number of days of inactivity after a password has
expired before the account is locked. The INACTIVE
option is the number
of days of inactivity. A user whose account is locked must contact the system
administrator before being able to use the system again.
Passing the number -1 as the INACTIVE will remove an
-m, --mindays MIN_DAYS
Set the minimum number of days between password changes
to MIN_DAYS. A value of zero for this field indicates that the user may
change their password at any time.
-M, --maxdays MAX_DAYS
Set the maximum number of days during which a password is
valid. When MAX_DAYS
is less than the current day,
the user will be required to change their password before being able to use
their account. This occurrence can be planned for in advance by use of the
option, which provides the user with advance warning.
Passing the number -1 as MAX_DAYS will remove
checking a password's validity.
-R, --root CHROOT_DIR
Apply changes in the CHROOT_DIR directory and use
the configuration files from the CHROOT_DIR directory.
-W, --warndays WARN_DAYS
Set the number of days of warning before a password
change is required. The WARN_DAYS option is the number of days prior to
the password expiring that a user will be warned their password is about to
If none of the options are selected, chage operates in an
interactive fashion, prompting the user with the current values for all of
the fields. Enter the new value to change the field, or leave the line blank
to use the current value. The current value is displayed between a pair of
[ ] marks.
The chage program requires a shadow password file to be
The chage command is restricted to the root user, except
for the -l option, which may be used by an unprivileged user to
determine when their password or account is due to expire.
The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change
the behavior of this tool:
The chage command exits with the following values:
invalid command syntax
can't find the shadow password file