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VIPW(8) NetBSD System Manager's Manual VIPW(8)
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Maintained for NetBSD
by Kimmo Suominen.
Based on man-cgi by Panagiotis Christias.
vipw -- edit the password file
vipw [-d directory]
vipw edits the password file after setting the appropriate locks, and
does any necessary processing after the password file is unlocked. If
the password file is already locked for editing by another user, vipw
will ask you to try again later. The default editor for vipw is vi(1).
vipw performs a number of consistency checks on the password entries, and
will not allow a password file with a ``mangled'' entry to be installed.
If vipw rejects the new password file, the user is prompted to re-enter
the edit session.
Once the information has been verified, vipw uses pwd_mkdb(8) to update
the user database. This is run in the background, and, at very large
sites could take several minutes. Until this update is completed, the
password file is unavailable for other updates and the new information is
not available to programs.
The options are as follows:
Change the root directory of the password file from ``/'' to
If a vipw session is killed it may leave ``/etc/ptmp'', which will cause
future vipw executions to fail with ``vipw: the passwd file is busy'',
until it is removed.
If the following environment variable exists it will be used by vipw:
EDITOR The editor specified by the string EDITOR will be invoked instead
of the default editor vi(1).
/etc/master.passwd The current password file.
/etc/ptmp Temporary copy of the password file
used while editing.
chpass(1), passwd(1), pwhash(1), passwd(5), passwd.conf(5), pwd_mkdb(8),
The vipw command appeared in 4.0BSD.
NetBSD 6.0 September 4, 2005 NetBSD 6.0