questions about /etc/shadow

Steve Phillips steve at
Tue Oct 9 06:03:20 UTC 2007

Gaddis, Jeremy L. wrote:
> On 10/8/07, tech user <techwww at> wrote:
>> what's the difference between these two passwd fields in /etc/shadow?
>> nobody:*:13785:0:99999:7:::
>> dbus:!!:13785:0:99999:7:::
>> that's to say,what does '*' mean and what does '!!' mean in /etc/shadow?
> The asterisk means that no logons are permitted from that account.
> Any attempt to login with the nobody account would fail.

Actually, anything that is NOT a valid crypted string (DES/md5/whatever) 
and is NOT blank will cause the account to be 'locked'. Various 
operating systems have different conventions for example, Solaris likes 
to use *LK* as the string, but there is no firm convention.


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