Directory Server allows you to configure multiple password policies. This section explains default password policies and specialized password policies. This section also explains which policy is enforced when multiple password policies could apply to a given account.
When you first create a Directory Server instance, that instance has a default password policy. That default password policy is expressed in the configuration entry cn=PasswordPolicy,cn=config. The default password policy applies to all accounts in the directory except for the Directory Manager.
When you create a Directory Server instance, password policy attributes remain in Directory Server 5 compatible mode to facilitate upgrading from earlier versions. In Directory Server 5 compatible mode, Directory Server also handles password policy entries that have object class passwordPolicy(5dsoc).
After your upgrade is complete, you use the new password policy in fully featured mode, as described in Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition 6.3 Migration Guide. The administrative move is transparent to directory applications.
This chapter covers password policy configuration using the new password policy features.
You can change the default password policy to override the default settings. You can use the dsconf(1M) command to set the server properties for default password policy. Such server property names typically start with the pwd- prefix. When changing settings for such properties, you override the default password policy for the instance. Replication does not, however, copy the changes to replicas. The changes that you make to the default password policy are part of the configuration for the instance, not part of the directory data.
In addition to configuring the default password policy, you can also configure specialized password policies. A specialized password policy is defined by an entry in the directory tree. The specialized password policy entry has the same object class, pwdPolicy(5dsoc), as the default password policy, and therefore takes the same policy attributes. Because specialized password policies are regular directory entries, policy entries are replicated in the same manner as regular directory entries.
A user entry references a specialized password policy through the value of the operational attribute pwdPolicySubentry(5dsat). When referenced by a user entry, a specialized password policy overrides the default password policy for the instance. In many deployments, you assign users roles. You can configure roles to work with class of service (CoS) to determine the password policies that apply to user accounts, by setting the pwdPolicySubentry value. To override the password policy set by a role, change the pwdPolicySubentry value on that user's entry directly.
To summarize this section, initially the default password policy applies. You can change the default password policy to override the defaults. You can then create specialized password policy entries to override the default password policy. When you assign password policy with roles and CoS, you can override the CoS-assigned policy by specifying a password policy for an individual entry.