PASSMASS(1)                                                        PASSMASS(1)


       passmass - change password on multiple machines


       passmass [ host1 host2 host3 ...  ]


       Passmass changes a password on multiple machines.  If you have accounts
       on several machines that do not share password databases, Passmass  can
       help  you keep them all in sync.  This, in turn, will make it easier to
       change them more frequently.

       When Passmass runs, it asks you for the old and new passwords.  (If you
       are changing root passwords and have equivalencing, the old password is
       not used and may be omitted.)

       Passmass understands the "usual" conventions.  Additional arguments may
       be  used  for tuning.  They affect all hosts which follow until another
       argument overrides it.  For example, if you are  known  as  "libes"  on
       host1 and host2, but "don" on host3, you would say:

            passmass host1 host2 -user don host3

       Arguments are:

                  User  whose  password will be changed.  By default, the cur-
                  rent user is used.

                  Use rlogin to access host.  (default)

                  Use slogin to access host.

                  Use telnet to access host.


                  Next argument is a program  to  run  to  set  the  password.
                  Default  is  "passwd".   Other common choices are "yppasswd"
                  and "set passwd" (e.g., VMS hosts).  A program name such  as
                  "password  fred"  can  be  used  to  create  entries for new
                  accounts (when run as root).

                  Next argument is a prompt suffix pattern.  This  allows  the
                  script  to know when the shell is prompting.  The default is
                  "# " for root and "% " for non-root accounts.

                  Next  argument  is  the  number  of  seconds  to  wait   for
                  responses.   Default  is  30  but  some  systems can be much
                  slower logging in.

              -su  Next argument is 1  or  0.   If  1,  you  are  additionally
                  prompted  for a root password which is used to su after log-
                  ging in.  root’s password is changed rather than the user’s.
                  This  is useful for hosts which do not allow root to log in.


       The best way to run Passmass is to put the command in a one-line  shell
       script  or alias.  Whenever you get a new account on a new machine, add
       the appropriate arguments to the command.  Then  run  it  whenever  you
       want to change your passwords on all the hosts.


       Using  the  same password on multiple hosts carries risks.  In particu-
       lar, if the password can be stolen, then all of your  accounts  are  at
       risk.  Thus, you should not use Passmass in situations where your pass-
       word is visible, such as across a network which hackers  are  known  to

       On  the  other  hand,  if you have enough accounts with different pass-
       words, you may end up writing them down somewhere - and that can  be  a
       security  problem.   Funny  story:  my  college roommate had an 11"x13"
       piece of paper on which he had listed accounts and passwords all across
       the Internet.  This was several years worth of careful work and he car-
       ried it with him everywhere he went.  Well one day, he forgot to remove
       it  from  his jeans, and we found a perfectly blank sheet of paper when
       we took out the wash the following day!


       "Exploring Expect: A Tcl-Based Toolkit for Automating Interactive  Pro-
       grams" by Don Libes, O’Reilly and Associates, January 1995.


       Don Libes, National Institute of Standards and Technology

                                7 October 1993                     PASSMASS(1)

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