Section: System Management Commands (8)Updated: 02/21/2011Local indexUp
pwck - verify integrity of password files
pwck [-q] [-s] [passwd [ shadow ]]
pwck [-q] [-r] [passwd [ shadow ]]
command verifies the integrity of the users and authentication information. It checks that all entries in
have the proper format and contain valid data. The user is prompted to delete entries that are improperly formatted or which have other uncorrectable errors.
Checks are made to verify that each entry has:
the correct number of fields
a unique and valid user name
a valid user and group identifier
a valid primary group
a valid home directory
a valid login shell
checks are enabled when a second file parameter is specified or when
exists on the system.
These checks are the following:
every passwd entry has a matching shadow entry, and every shadow entry has a matching passwd entry
passwords are specified in the shadowed file
shadow entries have the correct number of fields
shadow entries are unique in shadow
the last password changes are not in the future
The checks for correct number of fields and unique user name are fatal. If the entry has the wrong number of fields, the user will be prompted to delete the entire line. If the user does not answer affirmatively, all further checks are bypassed. An entry with a duplicated user name is prompted for deletion, but the remaining checks will still be made. All other errors are warning and the user is encouraged to run the
command to correct the error.
The commands which operate on the
file are not able to alter corrupted or duplicated entries.
should be used in those circumstances to remove the offending entry.
The options which apply to the
Report errors only. The warnings which do not require any action from the user won't be displayed.
command in read-only mode.
Sort entries in
operates on the files
/etc/shadow. The user may select alternate files with the
The following configuration variables in
change the behavior of this tool:
The maximum number of days a password may be used. If the password is older than this, a password change will be forced. If not specified, -1 will be assumed (which disables the restriction).
The minimum number of days allowed between password changes. Any password changes attempted sooner than this will be rejected. If not specified, -1 will be assumed (which disables the restriction).
The number of days warning given before a password expires. A zero means warning is given only upon the day of expiration, a negative value means no warning is given. If not specified, no warning will be provided.