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Managing User Accounts and User Environments in Oracle® Solaris 11.4

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Updated: April 2019
 
 

Where User Account and Group Information Is Stored

Depending on your site policy, user account and group information can be stored on the local system's /etc files or in the LDAP database file.

    Most user account information is stored in the passwd file. Password information is stored as follows:

  • In the /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow files when you are using /etc files

  • In the people container when you are using LDAP

Group information is stored in LDAP's group container. LDAP also supports password aging.

The /etc/passwd File

Password information is stored in /etc/passwd. After installation, the file is automatically filled with information about standard daemons and processes. These daemons are started at boot time to perform system-wide tasks such as printing, network administration, or port monitoring. The file also contains the initial user that is created during installation.

As you add or remove packages from the system, additional users and groups are created or removed in the file. You do not perform any administrative tasks on this file.

The fields in the passwd file are separated by colons and contain the following information:

username:password:UID:GID:comment:home-directory:login-shell

For example:

kryten:x:101:100:Kryten Series 4000 Mechanoid:/export/home/kryten:/bin/csh

For a complete description of the fields in the passwd file, see the passwd(1) man page.

The /etc/shadow File

This file stores encrypted user passwords and related information. Typically, you do not manually administer this file.

For the regular user, the fields in the shadow file are separated by colons and contain the following information:

username:password:lastchg:min:max:warn:inactive:expire

In this file, the password is represented by a hash, such as $5$cgQk2iUy$AhHtVGx5Qd0.W3NCKjikb8.KhOiA4DpxsW55sP0UnYD.

For a complete description of the fields in the shadow file, see the shadow(5) man page.

The /etc/group File

This file is a local source of group information. After installation, groups are created by default that support some system-wide tasks such as printing, network administration, or electronic mail. Most of these groups have corresponding entries in the /etc/passwd file.

The fields in the group file are separated by colons and contain the following information:

group-name:group-password:GID:user-list

For example:

bin::2:root,bin,daemon

For a complete description of the fields in the group file, see the group(5) man page.