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  • How to check the lock status of any user account in Linux

    There are few commands which I know can be used to see if any user account on your Linux machine is locked.

    Case 1: Password Locked

    In this case the password of any account is locked using the below command

    To lock the password
    # passwd -l user1
    Locking password for user user1.
    passwd: Success

    Review the status in /etc/shadow
    # grep user1 /etc/shadow user1:!!$6$ciJaoDR9$Qpt9sctRLjbZ4/Agxy9UOvu/XQqNrFo9rpgfZ/xrF/8JphkEvF29ITpef0SVLdJcrpv8Q/.6mRAHee4tZT0r11:16299:0:99999:7:::
    As you can see above two exclamation mark (!!) before the encrypted password which means that the password has been locked

    To unlock the password
    # passwd -u user1
    Unlocking password for user user1.
    passwd: Success

    Case 2: Account is Locked

    In this case the user account might have been locked by the administrator

    To lock an account
    # usermod -L user1
    Review your /etc/shadow file for the changes
    # grep user1 /etc/shadow

    As you see an extra single exclamation mark(!) appeared in the password section before the encrypted password starts which signifies that the user account is locked

    To unlock a user account
    # usermod -U user1

    Case 3: Password never set

    This can also be the scenario where the administrator has not assigned any password due to which the user is not able to login

    So to verify this again you need to check your /etc/shadow file
    # grep user1 /etc/shadow

    As you see two exclamation mark(!!) is there but no encrypted password which means a password is not set.

    If the password was set without lock your /etc/shadow would look like something below
    # grep user1 /etc/shadow

    Check the lock status of any Linux Account

    Now one single command to see the lock status of the user
    # passwd -S user1
    user1 LK 2014-08-17 0 99999 7 -1 (
    Password locked.)

    If the user account is unlocked you will output like below
    # passwd -S user1
    user1 PS 2014-08-17 0 99999 7 -1 (Password set, SHA512 crypt.)

    Related Articles
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    Follow the below links for more tutorials

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    Deepak Prasad

    Deepak Prasad is an anonymous techie and an author who is still trying to survive in this IT generation with very little knowledge he has on Linux/Unix, VMware, SAN Storage, Automation, networking etc

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    How to check the lock status of any user account in Linux How to check the lock status of any user account in Linux Reviewed by Deepak Prasad on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 Rating: 5


    1. hi Deepak,

      I am not seeing encrypted pwd in my /etc/passwd file...why ?
      can u pls explain me why ??


      1. Hi Pankaj,

        /etc/passwd doesnot contains the encrypted password, it will only contain "x" if a password is assigned

        encrypted form of password is visible in /etc/shadow

    2. what is kernel patching
      how to update kernel
      please send me answers in brief


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