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can I comment out a user in /etc/passwd ?

Posted on 2011-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I have a user that "appears" to be created with root privs.  

I want to get rid of the account but want to be able to undo what I did  easly in case I am wrong.  

Can I just put a # in front of the line  ??

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Question by:TIMFOX123
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farzanj earned 200 total points
ID: 35188880
Yes, you can.  It would fail the authentication of the user.

You can also comment it in /etc/shadow file

This should effectively restrict the user.

A better way would be to lock the account.  That can be done with either chage or usermod commands.

You can simply put "!" in the password field in the /etc/shadow file.  That would effectively block the user
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by:farzanj
farzanj earned 200 total points
ID: 35188889
If you want to be aware of all the files user has on the system, you can issue the command

find / -user <userid>
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:farzanj
ID: 35188896
Locking user:

usermod -L userID

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LVL 12

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by:upanwar
upanwar earned 100 total points
ID: 35188906
No you can not but you can disable that user.

simply prefix the ``*'' asterisk character in front of the encrypted password to disable the account, and simply removing the asterisk to enable it.
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LVL 14

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by:svgmuc
svgmuc earned 100 total points
ID: 35188927
Commenting out might work with your very Linux system but it should generally be avoided. You might get used to doing it and it could easily break other Unix/Linux systems.
Locking the account or replacing the password hash is the recommended way, as explained by farzanj and upanwar.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:mohansahu
mohansahu earned 100 total points
ID: 35197519
linux locking an account use the below syntax.

Syntax:
passwd -l {username}

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Author Closing Comment

by:TIMFOX123
ID: 35197657
Thank you all !!
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