In Linux systems, for a user 1) if the password was ever established, but the account is locked, then its shows in /etc/shadow file something like:

<account>:!!<hashed password>:....

2) if the password was never established, it will show something like:


However in HP-UX, for both the above situations, it only shows like:


Is there a way in HP-UX that we can find out whether a password was ever established for an account or not. I did try to google and on hp-forums, but could not find any answer.

1 Answer 1


According to No /etc/shadow file found - why is '*' present , it seems that the actual passwords can be in a separate database (where it mentions /tcb):

yes, if you have not activated the Trusted mode the passwords are encrypted into the /etc/passwd file. With trusted mode, the passwords and settings are separated in a database under the /tcb directory. If you want to convert to trusted mode you can do it by executing /usr/lbin/tsconvert or through SAM too.

  • Thanks Thomas, but i could not find a /tcb directory on our hp-ux box(B.11.23). Is there any other way to find a clear cut answer to whether the password was ever established or not - we don't need to know the actual password, just whether it was ever established (or it was a case where user was created, but no password set)
    – JavaTec
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 21:24

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