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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for passmass (redhat section 1)

PASSMASS(1)			     General Commands Manual			      PASSMASS(1)

       passmass - change password on multiple machines

       passmass [ host1 host2 host3 ...  ]

       Passmass  changes  a  password  on  multiple  machines.	 If  you have accounts on several
       machines that do not share password databases, Passmass can help  you  keep  them  all  in
       sync.  This, in turn, will make it easier to change them more frequently.

       When  Passmass runs, it asks you for the old and new passwords.	(If you are changing root
       passwords and have equivalencing, the old password is not used and may be omitted.)

       Passmass understands the "usual" conventions.  Additional arguments may be used	for  tun-
       ing.   They  affect all hosts which follow until another argument overrides it.	For exam-
       ple, if you are known as "libes" on host1 and host2, but "don" on host3, you would say:

	    passmass host1 host2 -user don host3

       Arguments are:

		  User whose password will be changed.	By default, the current user is used.

		  Use rlogin to access host.  (default)

		  Use slogin to access host.

		  Use telnet to access host.


		  Next argument is a program to run to set the password.   Default  is	"passwd".
		  Other common choices are "yppasswd" and "set passwd" (e.g., VMS hosts).  A pro-
		  gram name such as "password fred"  can  be  used  to	create	entries  for  new
		  accounts (when run as root).

		  Next	argument is a prompt suffix pattern.  This allows the script to know when
		  the shell is prompting.  The default is "# " for root and  "%  "  for  non-root

		  Next	argument  is  the number of seconds to wait for responses.  Default is 30
		  but some systems can be much slower logging in.


		  Next argument is 1 or 0.  If 1, you are additionally prompted for a root  pass-
		  word	which  is used to su after logging in.	root's password is changed rather
		  than the user's.  This is useful for hosts which do not allow root to log in.

       The best way to run Passmass is to put the command in a one-line shell  script  or  alias.
       Whenever you get a new account on a new machine, add the appropriate arguments to the com-
       mand.  Then run it whenever you want to change your passwords on all the hosts.

       Using the same password on multiple hosts carries risks.  In particular, if  the  password
       can  be	stolen, then all of your accounts are at risk.	Thus, you should not use Passmass
       in situations where your password is visible, such as across a network which  hackers  are
       known to eavesdrop.

       On  the	other  hand, if you have enough accounts with different passwords, you may end up
       writing them down somewhere - and that can be a security problem.  Funny story: my college
       roommate  had  an 11"x13" piece of paper on which he had listed accounts and passwords all
       across the Internet.  This was several years worth of careful work and he carried it  with
       him everywhere he went.	Well one day, he forgot to remove it from his jeans, and we found
       a perfectly blank sheet of paper when we took out the wash the following day!

       "Exploring Expect: A Tcl-Based Toolkit for Automating Interactive Programs" by Don  Libes,
       O'Reilly and Associates, January 1995.

       Don Libes, National Institute of Standards and Technology

					  7 October 1993			      PASSMASS(1)

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