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7395814 Unix Shell ProgrammingMCA34

7395814 Unix Shell ProgrammingMCA34

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Published by: abhishekten on Nov 03, 2009
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10/21/2011

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Telling the computer your password is the way that you prove to the computer that you
are you. In classical security parlance, your password is what the computer uses to

authenticate your identity (two words that have a lot of significance to security gurus, but
generally mean the same thing that they do to ordinary people).

When you log in, you tell the computer who you are by typing your username at the login
prompt. You then type your password (in response to the password prompt) to prove that
you are who you claim to be. For example:

login: sarah
password: tuna4fis

As we mentioned above, UNIX does not display your password when you type it.

If the password that you supply with your username corresponds to the one on file, UNIX
logs you in and gives you full access to all of your files, commands, and devices. If either
the password or the username does not match, UNIX does not log you in.

On some versions of UNIX, if somebody tries to log into your account and supplies an
invalid password several times in succession, your account will be locked. Only the
system administrator can unlock a locked account. Locking has two functions:

1. It protects the system from someone who persists in trying to guess a password;
before they can guess the correct password, the account is shut down.
2. It notifies you that someone has been trying to break into your account.

If you find yourself locked out of your account, you should contact your system
administrator and get your password changed to something new. Don't change your
password back to what it was before you were locked out.

Changing Your Password

You can change your password with the UNIX passwd command. passwd first asks you
to type your old password, then asks for a new one. By asking you to type your old

password first, passwd prevents somebody from walking up to a terminal that you left
yourself logged into and then changing your password without your knowledge.

UNIX makes you type the password twice when you change it:

% passwd
Changing password for sarah.
Old password:tuna4fis
New password: nosmis32
Retype new password: nosmis32
%

If the two passwords you type don't match, your password remains unchanged. This is a
safety precaution: if you made a mistake typing the new password and UNIX only asked
you once, then your password could be changed to some new value and you would have
no way of knowing that value.

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