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Writing own script to add users



We are running RH 4.2 based server with PAM in use. I would like to write
a script (or use existing script, if there is one) which would add users
automatically. It would get input from a textfile which contains all
required information. I have few problems, which i would like to get
answer:

Is there some library/common code which i could take advantage of. I would
of course need functions to detect first available UID/GID, locking 
files, maybe support for both shadowed and non-shadowed passwords.

If there is no such library, i would like to know how to do these things
properly (especially, how should i lock the files before modifying them),
or should i take look to some example code?




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