Linux turn OFF password expiration / aging

last updated in Categories Debian Linux, Howto, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Security, Suse Linux, Sys admin, Tip of the day, Tips, Troubleshooting, Ubuntu Linux

/etc/shadow stores actual password in encrypted format for user’s account with additional properties related to user password.

The password expiration information for a user is contained in the last 6 fields. Password expiration for a select user can be disabled by editing the /etc/shadow file

However I recommend using chage command. The chage command changes the number of days between password changes and the date of the last password change. This information is used by the system to determine when a user must change his/her password.

To list current aging type chage command as follows:
# chage -l vivek
Output:

Last password change                                    : May 22, 2007
Password expires                                        : never
Password inactive                                       : never
Account expires                                         : never
Minimum number of days between password change          : 0
Maximum number of days between password change          : 99999
Number of days of warning before password expires       : 7

To disable password aging / expiration for user foo, type command as follows and set:
Minimum Password Age to 0
Maximum Password Age to 99999
Password Inactive to -1
Account Expiration Date to -1
Interactive mode command:
# chage username
OR
# chage -I -1 -m 0 -M 99999 -E -1 username

Updated for accuracy.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

25 comment

  1. The simplest way to change the command-line version so that it actually works is as follows:
    # chage -I -1 -m 0 -M 99999 -E -1 username

    Most shells (certainly bash) require escaping ‘-‘ characters.

    1. wow this is the most retarded thing i have read today.
      “-” does not need to be escaped in any shell as it has no special meaning, it is just a convention used in most unix programs to identify option parameters (it is a slash under most windows utils, e.g. “ipconfig /a”). characters you may need to escape are ” or ‘ or $ or ` and so on (see http://www.gnu.org/software/bash/manual/bashref.html#Quoting ).
      you ‘may’ need to tell a program to not read a for example a file name “rm -my_file_name.txt” as an option via “rm — -my_file_name.txt” but thats about it.

      the original code snippet /actually/ works without any escaping.

  2. Any solution to set ACCOUNT EXPIRE after x days without login to the system instead of set a fix date?

  3. Is there a way to do this to all user accounts at once? I’ve tried using “*”, but had no luck with that. Thanks.

  4. James,

    Try something as follows to list permission for all user (backup your /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow before you run following commands) :
    awk -F':' '{ if ( $3 >= 1000 ) print $0 }' /etc/passwd | cut -d: -f1 | xargs -I {} chage -l {}

    Replace chage -l with ‘chage -I -1 -m 0 -M 99999 -E -1’

    awk -F':' '{ if ( $3 >= 1000 ) print $0 }' /etc/passwd | cut -d: -f1 | xargs -I {} chage -I -1 -m 0 -M 99999 -E -1 {}

  5. Just to eliminate the unnecessary “cut”, make it:
    awk -F':' '{ if ( $3 >= 1000 ) print $1 }' /etc/passwd | xargs -I {} chage -I -1 -m 0 -M 99999 -E -1 {}

  6. awk -F’:’ ‘{ if ( $3 >= 1000 ) print $1 }’ /etc/passwd | xargs -I {} chage -I -1 -m 0 -M 99999 -E -1 {}

    is helped me

  7. I get this error while executing the command,

    [root@lnxtestsrv1 ~]# awk -F ':' '{ if ( $3 >= 1000 ) print $1 }' /etc/passwd | xargs -I {} chage -I -1 -m 0 -M 99999 -E -1 {}
    xargs: invalid option -- I
    Usage: xargs [-0prtx] [-E eof-str] [-e[eof-str]] [-I replace-str]
           [-i[replace-str]] [-L max-lines] [-l[max-lines]] [-n max-args]
           [-s max-chars] [-P max-procs] [--null] [--eof[=eof-str]]
           [--replace[=replace-str]] [--max-lines[=max-lines]] [--interactive]
           [--max-chars=max-chars] [--verbose] [--exit] [--max-procs=max-procs]
           [--max-args=max-args] [--no-run-if-empty] [--version] [--help]
           [command [initial-arguments]]
    
    Report bugs to .
  8. Better to use ” -M -1 “: 99999 will expire after 99999 days, -1 tells no expiration needed!

    Bye

    Mariano

  9. awk -F’:’ ‘{ if ( $3 >= 1000 ) print $0 }’ /etc/passwd | cut -d: -f1 | xargs -I {} chage -l {}
    Last password change : Aug 06, 2012
    Password expires : never
    Password inactive : never
    Account expires : never
    Minimum number of days between password change : 0
    Maximum number of days between password change : 99999
    Number of days of warning before password expires : 7

    I am getting only this much output.how can I change the policy for all user?

  10. This info is great! A bunch of us have been wracking our brains for a couple of days trying to figure out a problem and this was the fix.

    Excellent!

  11. i got big list with no heading (user id)

    awk -F':' '{ if ( $3 >= 1000 ) print $0 }' /etc/passwd | cut -d: -f1 | xargs -I {} chage -l {}

    I need user heading, is that possible ?

    Have a question? Post it on our forum!