FreeBSD 7.0 manual page repository

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vipw - edit the password file



      vipw - edit the password file


      vipw [-d directory]


      The vipw utility edits the password file after setting the appropriate
      locks, and does any necessary processing after the password file is
      unlocked.  If the password file is already locked for editing by another
      user, vipw will ask you to try again later.  The default editor for vipw
      is vi(1).
      When run without options, vipw will work with the password files in /etc.
      The -d option may be used to specify an alternative directory to work
      The vipw utility performs a number of consistency checks on the password
      entries, and will not allow a password file with a “mangled” entry to be
      installed.  If vipw rejects the new password file, the user is prompted
      to re-enter the edit session.
      Once the information has been verified, vipw uses pwd_mkdb(8) to update
      the user database.  This is run in the background, and, at very large
      sites could take several minutes.  Until this update is completed, the
      password file is unavailable for other updates and the new information is
      not available to programs.


      If the following environment variable exists it will be utilized by vipw:
      EDITOR           The editor specified by the string EDITOR will be
                       invoked instead of the default editor vi(1).  This can
                       be used to allow a script to non-interactively modify
                       the password file.
      PW_SCAN_BIG_IDS  See pwd_mkdb(8).
      chpass(1), passwd(1), passwd(5), adduser(8), pw(8), pwd_mkdb(8)


      The vipw utility appeared in 4.0BSD.


      The mechanism for checking for password file modifications requires that
      EDITOR run for at least one second.  Non-interactive editor scripts
      should invoke sleep(1) or equivalent to ensure this happens.


Based on BSD UNIX
FreeBSD is an advanced operating system for x86 compatible (including Pentium and Athlon), amd64 compatible (including Opteron, Athlon64, and EM64T), UltraSPARC, IA-64, PC-98 and ARM architectures. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large team of individuals. Additional platforms are in various stages of development.