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Looking for information on password policy management in Suse 9.3 (Yast specific)

Posted on 2008-10-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-05
Ok I apologize in advance for what is probably a simple question.

I am running Suse Linux 9.3 and am trying understand a specific behavior in regards to password policy management.

From a vanilla install of Suse 9.3 I opened Yast  and created a new user in the "edit and create users" tool. I noticed that there were no restrictions, warnings, or expirations applied to the account's password so I opened up the "Security Settings" configuration tool and setup some basic password policies (length, expiration, expiration warnings). Now for every new user I create, they seem to have these settings applied. However, making this configuration change did not apply to accounts created previously.

Why is this?

Are there any good documents that explain what is being modified (config files) by these tools in Yast? I did some searching but can not seem to find a good concise explanation.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:rpryomski
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chingmd earned 375 total points
ID: 22834286
Not being familiar with yast specifically, I can at least answer why the previously created accounts do not take these changes.

It is likely calling the passwd command.   Adding the options needed to set the policy on the account being created.  These settings only effect the account being created.  Since other accounts may not want these changes.   It's better to not make a blanket change like this in case there are special sertvice accounts that you don't want to password change.

If you DO need/want to change existing accounts, you will want to use the following commandline:  chage

Look at the man page for it to see all the options.  

Here is a KB article too:
http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/setting-off-password-aging-expiration.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:rpryomski
ID: 31511081
Thanks this put me on the right track. Turns out there is a lot going on with YAST as it relates to user management...more than I had anticipated.

Thanks again.
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