2

When I look at /etc/shadow I see several entries that look like this:

username:**___________:::::::

What does the "**___________" mean? That is where I should see the password hash.

3

A password field that starts with * means the corresponding user is not allowed to login. This is generally used for system accounts, such as mysql, mail, apache, etc.

However, if the entry is literally ending with :::::::, this means the corresponding user is a NIS / NIS+ account.

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