In /etc/shadow, I have a line that begins:


Why is there a ! before the $6$ in the hash?


It means that the password is locked. Tools, such as usermod -L add a ! to the password to invalidate it. usermod -U removes the !.

From man 5 shadow

If the password field contains some string that is not a valid result of crypt(3), for instance ! or *, the user will not be able to use a unix password to log in (but the user may log in the system by other means).

  • Thnx @garethTheRed :) – user3881949 Sep 7 '14 at 9:32

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