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It means you can use either -p or --password to specify the password option for useradd (this is pretty common that short option names only require one "-" and long versions require two - not hard and fast rule through).
crypt() is a C function from what I can tell that returns a DES encrypted password that won't look anything likt the 123 that you were trying to use above.
automate the passwd process using --stdin. How do i do it actually. I am not sure --stdin. I want to have a script that can have 2 user inputs, that means getting username and password. I dont want to put (usr/bin/passwd $username) in the script because after executing the script it will ask 2 enter the password. I want the password entered in the script to be used. Thats y i used useradd -p mypassword username, but it does not work for the password part..Please help