update-passwd - safely update /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow and /etc/group
update-passwd handles updates of /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow and /etc/group
on running Debian systems. It compares the current files to master copies,
distributed in the base-passwd package, and updates all entries in the global
system range (that is, 0–99).
update-passwd follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long
options starting with two dashes (‘-’).
- -p, --passwd-master=FILE
- Use FILE as the master copy of the passwd database. The default value is
- -g, --group-master=FILE
- Use FILE as the master copy of the group database. The default value is
- -P, --passwd=FILE
- Use FILE as the system passwd database. The default value is
- -S, --shadow=FILE
- Use FILE as the system shadow database. The default value is
- -G, --group=FILE
- Use FILE as the system group database. The default value is
- -s, --sanity-check
- Only perform sanity-checks but don't do anything.
- -v, --verbose
- Give detailed information about what we are doing. A second -v gives
- -n, --dry-run
- Don't do anything but only show what we would do.
- -L, --no-locking
- Don't attempt to lock the account database. This should only be used for
debugging purposes. I repeat: do not do this unless you are really sure
you need this!
- -h, --help
- Show a summary of how to use update-passwd.
- -V, --version
- Show the version number
- If this environment variable is sent and the --dry-run flag was not
given, update-passwd uses debconf to prompt for whether to make
changes. Each proposed change will produce a separate prompt. User or
group removals, UID or GID changes, and home directory changes will be
asked with high priority. User or group additions and shell changes will
be asked with medium priority. Questions about whether to move entries
above the NIS compat inclusion entry or whether to change the GECOS of a
user are asked at low priority.
At this moment update-passwd does not verify the shadow-file. It should
check if the entries in the passwd are also in shadow and vice versa, and that
passwords are not present in both files.
Wichert Akkerman <email@example.com>
This program was written for the Debian project, and is copyright
1999–2002 Wichert Akkerman and copyright 2002, 2003 Colin Watson. It
is distributed under version 2 of the GNU General Public License.