Overview #Passwd is one of the POSIX Databases used in POSIX systems to represent the users.
The /etc/passwd file is a text file with one record per line, each describing a user account. Each record consists of seven fields separated by colons. The ordering of the records within the file is generally unimportant.
jsmith:x:1001:1000:Joe Smith,Room 1007,(234)555-8910,(234)555-0044,email:/home/jsmith:/bin/shThe fields, in order from left to right, are:
|Login name||Uid||The first field is the user name, i.e. the string a user would type in when logging into the operating system: the logname. Each record in the file must have a unique user name field.|
|Password Specification Entry||N/A||The second field stores information used to validate a user's password; however in most modern uses this field is usually set to "x" (or some other indicator) with the actual password information being stored in a separate shadow password file. Setting this field to an asterisk "*" is the typical way to deactivate an account to prevent it being used.|
|Numerical user ID||uidNumber||The third field is the user identifier, the number that the operating system uses for internal purposes. It does not have to be unique.|
|Numerical group ID||gidNumber||The fourth field is the group identifier. This number identifies the primary group of the user; all files that are created by this user may initially be accessible to this group.|
|User name or comment field||gecos||The fifth field, called the Gecos field, is commentary that describes the person or account. Typically, this is a set of comma-separated values including the user's full name and contact details.|
|User home directory||homeDirectory||The sixth field is the path to the user's home directory.|
|Optional user command interpreter||loginShell||The seventh field is the program that is started every time the user logs into the system. For an interactive user, this is usually one of the system's command-line interpreters (shells).|
So from LDAP, you can think of the fields as:
jwilleke:x:52658:280:Jim Willeke, 213-449-7111:/home/jwilleke:/usr/bin/ksh
Below the "*" implies the entry is external to the host.
scott:*:1001:100:Aaron Scott Willeke:/home/scott:/bin/bashLDIF entries for passwd and shadow
More Information#There might be more information for this subject on one of the following:
- DIT Locations For NIS
- NIS Maps And LDAP Attributes
- Name Service Switch Types
- Password Specification Entry
- [#1] - http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/understanding-etcpasswd-file-format/ - Retrieved 2013-02-09