VIPW(8) System Manager's Manual VIPW(8)NAME
vipw - edit the password file
Vipw edits the password file while setting the appropriate locks, and does any necessary processing after the password file is unlocked.
If the password file is already being edited, then you will be told to try again later. The vi editor will be used unless the environment
variable EDITOR indicates an alternate editor.
Vipw performs a number of consistency checks on the password entries, and will not allow a password file with a ``mangled'' entry to be
installed. If vipw rejects the new password file, the user is prompted to re-enter the edit session.
Once the information has been verified, vipw uses mkpasswd(8) to update the user database. This is run in the background, and, at very
large sites could take several minutes. Until this update is completed, the password file is unavailable for other updates and the new
information will not be available to programs.
SEE ALSO chpass(1), passwd(1), passwd(5), adduser(8), mkpasswd(8)4th Berkeley Distribution March 11, 1989 VIPW(8)
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VIPW(8) BSD System Manager's Manual VIPW(8)NAME
vipw -- edit the password file
vipw [-d directory]
The vipw utility edits the password file after setting the appropriate locks, and does any necessary processing after the password file is
unlocked. If the password file is already locked for editing by another user, vipw will ask you to try again later. The default editor for
vipw is vi(1).
When run without options, vipw will work with the password files in /etc. The -d option may be used to specify an alternative directory to
The vipw utility performs a number of consistency checks on the password entries, and will not allow a password file with a ``mangled'' entry
to be installed. If vipw rejects the new password file, the user is prompted to re-enter the edit session.
Once the information has been verified, vipw uses pwd_mkdb(8) to update the user database. This is run in the background, and, at very large
sites could take several minutes. Until this update is completed, the password file is unavailable for other updates and the new information
is not available to programs.
If the following environment variable exists it will be utilized by vipw:
EDITOR The editor specified by the string EDITOR will be invoked instead of the default editor vi(1). This can be used to allow a
script to non-interactively modify the password file.
PW_SCAN_BIG_IDS See pwd_mkdb(8).
SEE ALSO chpass(1), passwd(1), passwd(5), adduser(8), pw(8), pwd_mkdb(8)HISTORY
The vipw utility appeared in 4.0BSD.
The mechanism for checking for password file modifications requires that the modification time of the password file changes. This means that
in a default configuration where file system timestamps are not calculated with sub-second precision, EDITOR has to run for at least one sec-
ond. Non-interactive editor scripts should invoke sleep(1) or equivalent to ensure this happens.
BSD February 14, 2012 BSD
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