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PASSMASS(1)                                                        PASSMASS(1)



NAME
       passmass - change password on multiple machines

SYNOPSIS
       passmass [ host1 host2 host3 ...  ]

INTRODUCTION
       Passmass  changes  a password on multiple machines.  If you have accounts on several machines that do not share
       password databases, Passmass can help you keep them all in sync.  This, in turn, will make it easier to  change
       them more frequently.

       When  Passmass  runs,  it asks you for the old and new passwords.  (If you are changing root passwords and have
       equivalencing, the old password is not used and may be omitted.)

       Passmass understands the "usual" conventions.  Additional arguments may be used for tuning.   They  affect  all
       hosts  which follow until another argument overrides it.  For example, if you are known as "libes" on host1 and
       host2, but "don" on host3, you would say:

            passmass host1 host2 -user don host3

       Arguments are:

              -user
                  User whose password will be changed.  By default, the current user is used.


              -rlogin
                  Use rlogin to access host.  (default)


              -slogin
                  Use slogin to access host.


              -ssh
                  Use ssh to access host.


              -telnet
                  Use telnet to access host.


              -program

                  Next argument is a program to run to set the password.  Default is "passwd".  Other  common  choices
                  are  "yppasswd"  and  "set passwd" (e.g., VMS hosts).  A program name such as "password fred" can be
                  used to create entries for new accounts (when run as root).


              -prompt
                  Next argument is a prompt suffix pattern.  This allows the script to know when the shell is  prompt-
                  ing.  The default is "# " for root and "% " for non-root accounts.


              -timeout
                  Next argument is the number of seconds to wait for responses.  Default is 30 but some systems can be
                  much slower logging in.


              -su  Next argument is 1 or 0.  If 1, you are additionally prompted for a root password which is used  to
                  su  after  logging in.  root's password is changed rather than the user's.  This is useful for hosts
                  which do not allow root to log in.


HOW TO USE
       The best way to run Passmass is to put the command in a one-line shell script or alias.  Whenever you get a new
       account  on  a  new  machine,  add  the appropriate arguments to the command.  Then run it whenever you want to
       change your passwords on all the hosts.


CAVEATS
       Using the same password on multiple hosts carries risks.  In particular, if the password can  be  stolen,  then
       all of your accounts are at risk.  Thus, you should not use Passmass in situations where your password is visi-
       ble, such as across a network which hackers are known to eavesdrop.

       On the other hand, if you have enough accounts with different passwords, you may end up writing them down some-
       where  - and that can be a security problem.  Funny story: my college roommate had an 11"x13" piece of paper on
       which he had listed accounts and passwords all across the Internet.  This was several years  worth  of  careful
       work  and  he carried it with him everywhere he went.  Well one day, he forgot to remove it from his jeans, and
       we found a perfectly blank sheet of paper when we took out the wash the following day!

SEE ALSO
       "Exploring Expect: A Tcl-Based Toolkit for Automating Interactive Programs" by Don Libes,  O'Reilly  and  Asso-
       ciates, January 1995.

AUTHOR
       Don Libes, National Institute of Standards and Technology



                                7 October 1993                     PASSMASS(1)