How to Get More Info About Password Aging Using “Chage” Command on Linux

In this guide, we will go thruogh the process of obtaining detailed information about password aging using the “chage” command on Linux. This tutorial is applicable to CentOS 5.8, but it should also work on other versions of CentOS and Red Hat Linux Enterprise.

Password aging is a crucial aspect of server security, and understanding how to manage it effectively is a vital skill for any server administrator. By implementing password aging, you can ensure that passwords are regularly updated, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

The “chage” command in Linux is a powerful tool that allows you to change user password expiry information. It is used to modify the number of days between password changes and the date of the last password change. This information is then used by the system to determine when a user must change their password.

In this tutorial, we will demonstrate how to use the “chage” command to get more information about password aging for a user. We will also explain the output of the command, helping you understand what each line means.

Using the “chage” Command to Get Password Aging Information

To get more information about password aging for a user, you can use the “chage” command followed by the -l option and the username. For example, to get password aging information for a user named ehowstuff, you would use the following command:

chage -l ehowstuff

When you run this command, you will see output similar to the following:

Last password change : May 24, 2012
Password expires : never
Password inactive : never
Account expires : never
Minimum number of days between password change : 0
Maximum number of days between password change : 99999
Number of days of warning before password expires : 7

Let’s break down what each line of this output means.

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Last password change

This line shows the date of the last password change for the user. In the example above, the last password change was on May 24, 2012.

Password expires

This line indicates when the user’s password will expire. If it says never, it means that the password does not have an expiration date.

Password inactive

This line shows the date after which the password will be inactive. If itsays never, it means that the password will not become inactive due to inactivity.

Account expires

This line indicates when the user’s account will expire. If it says never, it means that the user’s account does not have an expiration date.

Minimum number of days between password change

This line shows the minimum number of days that must pass before the password can be changed. In the example above, the minimum number of days is 0, which means the password can be changed at any time.

Maximum number of days between password change

This line shows the maximum number of days that can pass before the password must be changed. If the maximum number of days is 99999, it means that there is no limit on the number of days that can pass before the password must be changed.

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Number of days of warning before password expires

This line indicates the number of days before the password expiration date that the user will start receiving warnings. In the example above, the user will start receiving warnings 7 days before the password expires.

FAQs

  1. What is the purpose of the “chage” command in Linux?

    The “chage” command in Linux is used to change user password expiry information. It allows administrators to manage password aging by setting the number of days between password changes and the date of the last password change.

  2. What does the -l option do in the “chage” command?

    The -l option in the “chage” command is used to list the current password aging information for a specific user. It displays details such as the last password change date, password expiration date, and the minimum and maximum number of days between password changes.

  3. What does password aging mean?

    Password aging is a security measure that requires users to change their passwords regularly. It is used to reduce the risk of unauthorized access by ensuring that passwords are not used indefinitely.

  4. Why is password aging important?

    Password aging is important because it helps to enhance security. By requiring users to change their passwords regularly, it reduces the chances of an old or compromised password being used to gain unauthorized access to a system.

  5. How can I implement password aging on my Linux server?

    You can implement password aging on your Linux server using the “chage” command. This command allows you to set the minimum and maximum number of days between password changes, the number of days of warning before a password expires, and the date of the last password change.

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Commands Mentioned

  • chage -l username – Lists the current password aging information for a specific user.

Conclusion

Understanding password aging and how to manage it effectively is a crucial aspect of server security. The “chage” command in Linux provides a powerful tool for managing password aging, allowing you to set the number of days between password changes and the date of the last password change. By implementing password aging, you can ensure that passwords are regularly updated, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

In this tutorial, we have shown you how to use the “chage” command to get more information about password aging for a user. We hope this guide has been informative and helpful in enhancing your server administration skills. Remember, maintaining good password practices is a key step in securing your server and protecting it from unauthorized access.

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