The following subsections describe various password-related defaults and general criteria that you can specify.
The /etc/defaults/passwd file is used to set four general password defaults for users whose nsswitch.conf file points to files. The defaults set by the /etc/defaults/passwd file apply only to those users whose operative password information is taken from /etc files; they do not apply to anyone using either NIS maps or NIS+ tables. An /etc/defaults/passwd file on an NIS+ server only affects local users who happen to be obtaining their password information from those local files. An /etc/defaults/passwd file on an NIS+ server has no effect on the NIS+ environment or users whose nsswitch.conf file points to either nis or nisplus.
The four general password defaults governed by the /etc/defaults/passwd file are:
Maximum number of weeks the password is valid
Minimum number of weeks the password is valid
The number of weeks before the password becomes invalid that the user is warned
The minimum number of characters that a password must contain
The following principles apply to defaults set with an /etc/defaults/passwd file:
For users who obtain password information from local /etc files, individual password aging maximums, minimums and warnings set by the password command or Solstice AdminSuite or AdminTool override any /etc/defaults/passwd defaults. In other words, defaults set in the /etc/defaults/passwd file are not only applied to those users who do not have corresponding individual settings in their entries in their passwd table.
Except for password length, all the /etc/defaults/passwd file defaults are expressed as a number of weeks. (Remember that individual password aging times are expressed as a number of days.)
The MAXWEEKS, MINWEEKS, and WARNWEEKS defaults are all counted forward from the date of the user's last password change. (Remember that individual warn values are counted backwards from the maximum date.)
By default, /etc/defaults/passwd files already contain the entries:
MAXWEEKS= MINWEEKS= PASSLENGTH=
To implement an entry, simply type the appropriate number after the equal sign. Entries that do not have a number after the equal sign are inactive and have no affect on any user. Thus, to set a MAXWEEKS default of 4, you would change the /etc/defaults/passwd file to read:
MAXWEEKS=4 MINWEEKS= PASSLENGTH=
You can use the MAXWEEKS default in the /etc/defaults/passwd file to set the maximum number of weeks that a user's password is valid. To set a default maximum time period, type the appropriate number of weeks after the equal sign in the MAXWEEKS= line:
Where N is a number of weeks. For example, MAXWEEKS=9.
You can use the MINWEEKS default in the /etc/defaults/passwd file to set the minimum nuber of weeks that must pass before a user can change passwords. To set a default minimum time period, type the appropriate number of weeks after the equal sign on the MINWEEKS= line:
Where N is a number of weeks. For example, MINWEEKS=2.
You can add a WARNWEEKS default to the /etc/defaults/passwd file set the number of weeks prior to a password becoming invalid due to aging that user is warned. for example, if you have set the MAXWEEKS default to 9, and you want users to be warned two weeks before their passwords become invalid, you would set the MAXWEEKS default to 7.
There is no point in setting the WARNWEEKS default unless you also set a MAXWEEKS default.
Remember that WARNWEEKS are counted forward from the date of the user's last password change, not backwards from the MAXWEEKS expiration date. Thus, WARNWEEKS must always be less than MAXWEEKS and cannot be equal to or greater than MAXWEEKS .
A WARNWEEKS default will not work unless there is also a MAXWEEKS default.
To set the warning time period, type the appropriate number of weeks after the equal sign on the WARNWEEKS= line.
Where N is the number of weeks. For example, WARNWEEKS=1.
By default, the passwd command assumes a minimum length of six characters. You can use the PASSLENGTH default in the /etc/defaults/passwd files to change that by setting the minimum number of characters that a user's password must contain to some other number.
To set the minimum number of characters to something other than six, type the appropriate number of characters after the equal sign in the PASSLENGTH= line:
Where N is the number of characters. For example, PASSLENGTH=7.
You can specify a number-of-tries limit or an amount-of-time limit (or both) for a user's attempt to change passwords. These limits are specified by adding arguments when starting the rpc.nispasswdd daemon.
Limiting the number of attempts or setting a time frame provides a limited (but not foolproof) defense against unauthorized persons attempting to change a valid password to one that they discover through trial and error.
To set the maximum number of times a user can try to change a password without succeeding, use the -a number argument with rpc.nispasswdd, where number is the number of allowed tries. (You must have superuser privileges on the NIS+ master server to run rpc.nispasswdd.)
For example, to limit users to no more than four attempts (the default is 3), you would type:
station1# rpc.nispasswdd -a 4
In this case, if a user's fourth attempt at logging in is unsuccessful, the message Too many failures - try later is displayed. No further attempts are permitted for that user ID until a specified period of time has passed.
To set the maximum amount a time a user can take to successfully change a password, use the -c minutes argument with rpc.nispasswdd, where minutes is the number of minutes a user has to log in. (You must have superuser privileges on the NIS+ master server to run rpc.nispasswdd.)
For example, to specify that users must successfully log in within 2 minutes, you would type:
station1# rpc.nispasswdd -c 2
In this case, if a user is unable to successfully change a password within 2 minutes, the message is displayed at the end of the two-minute period. No further attempts are permitted for that user ID until a specified period of time has passed.