CHPASS(1) General Commands Manual CHPASS(1)
chpass, chfn, chsh – add or change user database information
chpass [-l location] [-u authname] [-s newshell] [user]
The chpass utility allows editing of the user database information
associated with user or, by default, the current user.
The chpass utility cannot change the user's password on Open Directory
systems. Use the passwd(1) utility instead.
The chfn, and chsh utilities behave identically to chpass. (There is only
The information is formatted and supplied to an editor for changes.
Only the information that the user is allowed to change is displayed.
The options are as follows:
If not specified, chpass will perform a search for the user record
on all available Open Directory nodes. When specified, chpass will
edit the user record on the directory node at the given location.
The user name to use when authenticating to the directory node
containing the user.
Attempt to change the user's shell to newshell.
Possible display items are as follows:
Login: user's login name
Uid: user's login
Gid: user's login group
Generated uid: user's UUID
Full Name: user's real name
Office Location: user's office location
Office Phone: user's office phone
Home Phone: user's home phone
Home Directory: user's home directory
Shell: user's login shell
The login field is the user name used to access the computer account.
The uid field is the number associated with the login field. Both of these
fields should be unique across the system (and often across a group of
systems) as they control file access.
While it is possible to have multiple entries with identical login names
and/or identical user id's, it is usually a mistake to do so. Routines
that manipulate these files will often return only one of the multiple
entries, and that one by random selection.
The group field is the group that the user will be placed in at login.
Since BSD supports multiple groups (see groups(1)) this field currently has
little special meaning. This field may be filled in with either a number
or a group name (see group(5)).
The generated uid field is the globally unique identifier (UUID) for the
user. The full name field contains the full name of the user.
The user's home directory is the full UNIX path name where the user will be
placed at login.
The shell field is the command interpreter the user prefers. If the shell
field is empty, the Bourne shell, /bin/sh, is assumed. When altering a
login shell, and not the super-user, the user may not change from a non-
standard shell or to a non-standard shell. Non-standard is defined as a
shell not found in /etc/shells.
The picture field is the path to a picture to be displayed for the user.
User database entries are under the control of DirectoryService(8) and may
be physically located in many different places, including the local
Directory Service node, and remote LDAP servers. This version of chpass
uses Open Directory to change user database information. It does not
interact with the historic flat file database /etc/master.passwd
The vi(1) editor will be used unless the environment variable EDITOR is set
to an alternate editor. When the editor terminates, the information is re-
read and used to update the user database itself. Only the user, or the
super-user, may edit the information associated with the user.
/etc/chpass.XXXXXX temporary copy of the data to edit
/etc/shells the list of approved shells
login(1), passwd(1), getusershell(3), passwd(5)
Robert Morris and Ken Thompson, UNIX Password security.
The chpass utility appeared in 4.3BSD-Reno.
macOS 12.1 December 30, 1993 macOS 12.1