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4.15 Other Operating Systems

Different operating systems store different information about users than Linux does. This is due to the different files and file formats used for storing user information. Some, for example, do not have an /etc/shadow file, meaning that information about password change and expiry times does not exist. The list below explains the major differences between other supported operating systems and Linux:

  • FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD All these operating systems use the /etc/master.passwd file for storing user information, which combines /etc/passwd with some fields from /etc/shadow. When editing or creating a user, you can enter a Password change time which is the date and time after which the password must be next changed, and an Account expiry time after which an account can no longer be used. Each user can also have a Login class, which is used in conjunction with the /etc/login.conf file to determine memory, CPU, and other limits.

  • Sun Solaris and SCO UnixWare Both these operating systems use the same files and formats as Linux, and so have all the same options.

  • HP/UX, SGI Irix, and Compaq Tru64/OSF1 Because none of these systems use an /etc/shadow file by default, none of the options related to password and account expiration are available when editing or creating a user.

  • Apple MacOS X OSX does not store user and group information in files at all—instead, it uses a network database called NetInfo, which Webmin manipulates using the nidump and niutil commands. This database, however, stores the same information as the BSD master.passwd file, so when editing or creating a user the same fields are available as for FreeBSD.

  • IBM AIX AIX uses the files /etc/passwd and /etc/security/passwd for storing user information. Therefore, when editing or creating users on AIX there are some options that do not exist on other operating systems. The Expiry date field can be used to set the date and time after which the account cannot be used. The Minimum weeks and Maximum weeks fields are very similar to the Maximum days and Minimum days fields on Linux, but deal with weeks instead of days. The Warning days field has exactly the same meaning as on Linux, and deals with days not weeks. The unique Account flags field sets special options whose meanings are explained on the form.

  • SCO OpenServer OpenServer uses /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow files, but the shadow file stores slightly different information than on Linux. This means that when editing a user, the Expiry date field is replaced with an option to control whether the user is prompted for a password at their next login, and the Warning days and Inactive days fields are not available.

Those few operating systems that are not listed above cannot use the Users and Groups module, as their file formats are not currently know to Webmin.

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