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From: Eric Smith <>
Date: Mon Jan 11 20:45:21 1999

Bill Pechter <> wrote:
> With straight flat password files, two sysadmins can both make changes
> at the same time and the last one to write the file is the person
> who's changes take effect. Not too predictable on a large site.

The BIG problem that inspired password file locking wasn't the two
sysadmin problem, it was that any random user could run 'passwd' at any
time to change their own password, and if the sysadmin was editing the
file at the time...

So password locking had to be built into 'passwd', and a way for the
sysadmin to lock the file during editing also had to be provided.
Received on Mon Jan 11 1999 - 20:45:21 GMT

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