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Why is there a gap between the expiration of an account and its complete deactivation, when one can no longer log in or change his password when it became expired?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

As explained in the venerable old Shadow Password HOWTO, between password expiration and the account's deactivation, the user can log in with the old password but must change it immediately. Or at least, that's the intention of the fields in the Linux "shadow password" system; specific implementations may not follow that strictly.

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I accept your answer however I know it. my question is about those distros that make account inaccessible to the user once it became expired. – XinHua May 14 '12 at 18:03
Those distros just aren't making use of that possibility in their default configurations. – mattdm May 14 '12 at 19:15

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