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I know that on a Linux system passwords are stored in /etc/shadow and are salted and encrypted using a one way hashing algorithm like MD5, SHA-256 or SHA-512.

It looks like there is no /etc/shadow file in OS X. How and where are they physically stored then? Are they encrypted in a similar manner as above?

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In Mac OS X, keychain files are stored in ~/Library/Keychains/, /Library/Keychains/, and /Network/Library/Keychains/,

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keychain_(Apple)

edit Sorry, I didn't understand that you were asking for the login password...

For that, there is this similar question elsewhere, with a good answer...

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Is the keychain used for the login password? I thought the keychain was mainly for saving passwords for websites, network shares, etc. Isn't this in netinfo instead (or, apparently, dslocal in 10.5+)? – derobert Jul 24 '13 at 14:02

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