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Old 02-05-2009, 11:13 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Canada
Distribution: Fedora/RHEL
Posts: 152

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Administrative/root password management

I recently inherited administrative(root) password management task from an user who is no longer on my team. From what he told me, He changes root passwords manually for ~200 Linux servers, and because of that, he barely get 1 password change done per system per year. I find his process quite tedious and inefficient. I am curious as to how others, especially sysadmins who manage over hundreds of servers, manage their root passwords? Ideally I would like to get quarterly password changes. All our server has LDAP enabled for non-root login.

Currently I am thinking of writing a script that generates different salted MD5 hash in /etc/shadow format, and push it to the systems through our management server (it has pub key auth to all managed servers).

Thank you for your input.

Last edited by twk; 02-05-2009 at 11:16 AM.
Old 02-05-2009, 12:26 PM   #2
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: London, ON, Canada
Distribution: Arch, Ubuntu, Slackware, OpenBSD, FreeBSD
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Some security freaks out there might not like this suggestion, but if you're looking to use a script that requires interactive input, look into the Expect scripting language.

My dad used to use it when he was a sysadmin for Bell.


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