passmass

PASSMASS(1)                 General Commands Manual                PASSMASS(1)



NAME
       passmass - change password on multiple machines

SYNOPSIS
       passmass [ host1 host2 host3 ...  ]

INTRODUCTION
       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
                  User whose password will be changed.  By default, the
                  current user is used.


              -rlogin
                  Use rlogin to access host.  (default)


              -slogin
                  Use slogin to access host.


              -telnet
                  Use telnet to access host.


              -program

                  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).


              -prompt
                  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.


              -timeout
                  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
                  logging in.  root's password is changed rather than the
                  user's.  This is useful for hosts which do not allow root to
                  log in.


HOW TO USE
       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.


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

       On the other hand, if you have enough accounts with different
       passwords, 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
       carried 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!

SEE ALSO
       "Exploring Expect: A Tcl-Based Toolkit for Automating Interactive
       Programs" by Don Libes, O'Reilly and Associates, January 1995.

AUTHOR
       Don Libes, National Institute of Standards and Technology



                                7 October 1993                     PASSMASS(1)