I came across this phrase in the link below http://brandonhutchinson.com/wiki/Solaris_Password_Policy

/usr/bin/passwd is used to modify password aging on existing accounts. passwd does not update the last password change field (field 3) in /etc/shadow, so passwords could expire immediately after running it.

What has the 3rd field in /etc/shadow got to do with the expiry of password? I tried to force expire a user account and the 3rd field did change.

sghk1> cat /etc/shadow | grep test
sghk1> passwd -f test
passwd: password information changed for test
sghk1> passwd -s test
test      PS    00/00/00     7   420
sghk1> cat /etc/shadow | grep test

From 16665 to 0.

So what does the author mean?

Also, for existing users, how do we make policies/configurations in /etc/default/passwd take place on existing accounts?

  • Did you run your experiment on Solaris or on Linux (you used multiple OS tags, which makes me wonder)? I don't know if Solaris and Linux behave in the same way. Aug 18, 2015 at 22:05
  • sorry, I am running solaris
    – Noob
    Aug 19, 2015 at 7:56


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