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Old 06-13-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
mattekure
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Registered: Jun 2011
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Password File Lock


I have inherited 120 production servers running a 10 year old version of Red Hat 9.0. One of the issues that has been happening for years is that when multiple users try to change their password at the same time, the system will lock everyone but the first one out until that user is finished. Usually this happens during a training class where we have 40-50 users all changing their passwords at the same time. (dont get me started on the decision to have the training class use production servers) The problem seems to stem from the passwd file being locked for editing, so only the first user who tries to log on will actually be able to do so. I know there was some custom code added to the password module to enforce certain password strength requirements, so that may be causing it.

I would really like to understand how linux handles multiple people changing the password at the same time though. Which files are locked at what points through the process.

Thanks much.
 
Old 06-13-2011, 11:36 AM   #2
MensaWater
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Why bother with passwords at all? RH9 is so old that no security fixes have been made for it in years so the average hacker probably has easy access to the system anyway. You really need to move to something more recent for a Production system. If they don't want to pay subscription fees for RHEL they can use CentOS which is based on RHEL source.

Anyway the way it worked in that old system (which uses a 2.4. kernel) is probably very different than the way it works in more modern systems.

What you might do instead of letting 30-40 users all change their passwords at the start of a training class is create a script that sets a new password for those 30-40 users all at once.
 
Old 06-13-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
mattekure
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Registered: Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MensaWater View Post
Why bother with passwords at all? RH9 is so old that no security fixes have been made for it in years so the average hacker probably has easy access to the system anyway. You really need to move to something more recent for a Production system. If they don't want to pay subscription fees for RHEL they can use CentOS which is based on RHEL source.

Anyway the way it worked in that old system (which uses a 2.4. kernel) is probably very different than the way it works in more modern systems.

What you might do instead of letting 30-40 users all change their passwords at the start of a training class is create a script that sets a new password for those 30-40 users all at once.
Unfortunately I dont have a choice on the password requirement. I am currently in the process of upgrading all of the proprietary software to run on RHEL 6, but it wont be ready for a year or two. The cost of the subscription fees dont have anything to do with it, its just that the system was so stable for years that no one would touch it.
 
  


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