Updated: 2022/Sep/29

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VIPW(8)                     System Manager's Manual                    VIPW(8)

     vipw - edit the password file

     vipw [-d directory]

     vipw edits the password file after setting the appropriate locks, and
     does any necessary processing after the password file is unlocked.  If
     the password file is already locked for editing by another user, vipw
     will ask you to try again later. The default editor for vipw is vi(1).

     vipw performs a number of consistency checks on the password entries, and
     will not allow a password file with a "mangled" entry to be installed.
     If vipw rejects the new password file, the user is prompted to re-enter
     the edit session.

     Once the information has been verified, vipw uses pwd_mkdb(8) to update
     the user database.  This is run in the background, and, at very large
     sites could take several minutes.  Until this update is completed, the
     password file is unavailable for other updates and the new information is
     not available to programs.

     The options are as follows:

     -d directory
           Change the root directory of the password file from "/" to

     If a vipw session is killed it may leave "/etc/ptmp", which will cause
     future vipw executions to fail with "vipw: the passwd file is busy",
     until it is removed.

     If the following environment variable exists it will be used by vipw:

     EDITOR  The editor specified by the string EDITOR will be invoked instead
             of the default editor vi(1).

     /etc/master.passwd                The current password file.
     /etc/ptmp                         Temporary copy of the password file
                                       used while editing.

     chpass(1), passwd(1), pwhash(1), passwd(5), passwd.conf(5), pwd_mkdb(8),

     The vipw command appeared in 4.0BSD.

NetBSD 10.99                   September 4, 2005                  NetBSD 10.99