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I've often created temporary passwords for users for my own development machine for initial id creation.

For other environments, I've seen admins have the ability to have a password show as expired immediately, forcing me to change my password on first login.

How does one do this? (In this specific case I am using RHEL, but I'm hoping this information is universal across all/most linux distros)

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

You can use the command

chage -d 0 [username]

to change the users expiration date, forcing them to change their password on first log in.

You can read more about it in the man pages for chage and usermod.

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There is a switch for passwd, -e. From the manpage (man passwd):

-e, --expire Immediately expire an accounts password. This in effect can force a user to change his/her password at the users next login.


 sudo passwd -e LOGIN 

should do it.

From the comments, I know that there is more variation than what I expected. So this is an Xubuntu 10.04 installation, and this is, what file reports:

file $(which passwd)
/usr/bin/passwd: setuid ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.15, stripped
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Interesting, my passwd doesn't have this option. I will still note this as well though. Which linux distro did this passwd come from? – user606723 Apr 9 '12 at 19:49
You're right. I way too often forget to mention what I'm using. I added more information. – user unknown Apr 9 '12 at 20:54

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