What does an * in master.passwd (not passwd) mean?

Chris St Denis chris at aebc.com
Sat Sep 17 00:51:36 PDT 2005

It means an account that can not be logged in to.

The in the hash algorithm used in master.password nothing encrypts to * so
no possible password will ever match the encrypted value * thus locking out
the account from login. 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
[mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org] On Behalf Of Paul Hoffman
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2005 3:22 PM
To: freebsd-questions at FreeBSD.ORG
Subject: What does an * in master.passwd (not passwd) mean?

In 5.4 (and probably lots of other versions), the master.passwd file 
is pre-seeded with lots of accounts such as daemon, operator, and so 
on. The master.passwd file looks like:

daemon:*:1:1::0:0:Owner of many system processes:/root:/usr/sbin/nologin
operator:*:2:5::0:0:System &:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
. . .

The man page for master.passwd and passwd say what an "*" in the 
second field means in passwd, but not in master.passwd. Any clues 
would be appreciated (and I will put in a documentation pr when I 
have an answer).

--Paul Hoffman
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