passwd(1) General Commands Manual passwd(1)
passwd - create or change password
passwd [-aefs] [name]
The command lets you or the superuser change your password. When you enter the command, the program prompts you for the old password and
then for the new password. Next, the program asks you for the new password again, to verify that you have typed it correctly. Note that
the passwords are not displayed on the screen.
Your new password must meet the length requirements specified by the superuser. To review these requirements, refer to the file. (This is
a read-only file.)
If your system is running with increased security, you may have to choose a password from a list of randomly generated passwords, or you
may need authorization to change your password. At higher security levels, you may be prohibited from changing your password until its
minimum lifetime has expired, as specified in the Authorization Database.
If you are running the BIND/Hesiod service, your password will be updated automatically on the server.
-a Supply a list of randomly generated passwords. (See the Examples section.)
-e Use an extended protocol when communicating with a prompter program. As a result, the standard input and output (used by is sent to
-f Change the finger information, not the password. The finger program provides information about current ULTRIX users, such as login and
terminal name, idle time and office location.
-s Change the login shell of the password file, not the password entry.
If you use a hardcopy terminal, you must destroy all print outs of valid passwords.
The following example illustrates the -a option, which displays a list of randomly generated passwords and their suggested pronunciation
with hyphens. The hyphens delineate the syllables of the passwords:
passwd -a abcd
Changing password for abcd
Here are some suggested passwords:
Enter new password:
Password must be at least 6 characters long, password unchanged
Your password does not meet the minimum length requirement specified in
Warning: Only the first 8 characters of the password are significant
Your password exceeds the maximum length requirement specified in
You do not have the privilege to change your password. The minimum lifetime has not expired.
Password is not different enough, unchanged
Your new password must be different from your old password.
Password must be different than logname, and not resemble previous password
Your new password must be different from your login name.
Verification failed, password unchanged
You misspelled the verification of your new password.
Authorization data base directory
Authorization data base page
Data base service selection and security configuration file
Only the superuser and members of the group can access the and files.
chfn(1), chsh(1), finger(1), login(1), shexp(1), yppasswd(1yp), passwd(5yp), edauth(8), vipw(8)
Guide to System Environment Setup
Security Guide for Users
Security Guide for Administrators
"Password Security: A Case History", Supplementary Documents, Volume 3: System Manager