Solaris Transition Guide

/etc/passwd and /etc/shadow Files

The SunOS release 5.7 passwd command stores encrypted versions of passwords in a separate file, /etc/shadow, and allows only root access to it. This prevents general access to the encrypted passwords that formerly appeared in the /etc/passwd file, which anyone could read.

The /etc/shadow file also includes entries that force password aging for individual user login accounts. The mechanism for changing entries to the passwd and shadow files is described in System Administration Guide, Volume II.