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Old 07-11-2020, 08:48 AM   #1
uiopqwerty
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.new files for /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, etc.


I have noticed that my -current installation has some .new files for /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, /etc/group, and /etc/gshadow. I can see that there are some differences between the two, in particular the current version of the file has my own user and a few other users I've made, while the .new version has users like e.g. ntp.

I would usually use `slackpkg new-config' to check whether there are .new files I need to look at, and use vimdiff to compare them - but these files aren't picked up by new-config, and I don't know about editing these files using vimdiff (my understanding is you should use vipw or vigr to edit /etc/passwd and /etc/group, and their respective shadow files). I'm not sure why these files aren't picked up by new-config - is there a reason for this?

In any case, I have never edited these files directly before (e.g. I would use useradd and groupadd to add new users and groups). I'm not entirely sure how Slackware treats them - my basic understanding is that, as long as you use vipw or vigr and the passwd and group files have entries corresponding to their respective shadow files, it's safe to edit these files directly.

Is it safe for me to use vipw and vigr to compare these files and pull over user or group entries as they appear in the .new files? There only appear to be a few new users and groups, and there are only inserts and deletions between the original and .new files (no partially different lines).
 
Old 07-11-2020, 09:01 AM   #2
LuckyCyborg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uiopqwerty View Post
I'm not sure why these files aren't picked up by new-config - is there a reason for this?
Those files are for shadow configuration and they are crucial for your user authentication. Mindless messing with them may put down your user logins.

In other hand, the Slackware packages which adds new system users and groups, they also adds on-fly these "patches" to the current config files, then I believe that's better to just delete the corresponding ".new" files, without trying to mess with them.
 
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:52 AM   #3
hazel
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Obviously the new files won't have your personal user and group settings in them. They are generic. That's why they are filed as .new files alongside your versions. If they overwrote them, you'd lose your login details!

If it was my system, I wouldn't mess with any of the existing lines in these files but would add in the new lines by hand (unless, as LuckyCyborg suggests, they've already been written in by installpkg). And yes, you should use the specialised editing programs like vipw, just as you would use visudo to edit your sudoers file. These programs protect you from making catastrophic syntax errors.

You say there are some deletions too. If they are deletions of lines that have been added again with some differences, then I think you can safely delete them. Otherwise I should leave well alone. I don't think having extra users in these files is going to do any harm, even if those users aren't required any more..
 
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:45 AM   #4
uiopqwerty
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Thanks for your help all - on closer inspection, the additional users had been appended to the passwd, group, and shadow files
 
  


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