On Feb 17, 2009, at 10:44 AM, gahn wrote:
No, there is no # in any lines of /etc/passwd.

Did you check /etc/master.passwd also?

Btw, what is this "src/etc/master.passwd" for?

A line like:

# $FreeBSD: src/etc/master.passwd,v 1.40 2005/06/06 20:19:56 brooks Exp $

...indicates the CVS revision that the passwd file comes from. It's mildly interesting when you run mergemaster -iU or the like to update to a newer version of the OS to pick up any default system accounts or changes which have been made.

If you're instead asking why there is a /etc/passwd versus master.passwd, the former is historically expected and is supposed to be world-readable, but the traditional practice of putting encrypted passwords in there made automated password cracking relatively feasible. Various UNIXes responded to things like "John the Ripper" by creating a second password database which contained the encrypted passwords, called /etc/shadow in some places, or /etc/master.passwd on FreeBSD, and having that only readable by root. The old /etc/passwd file would then have an "x" or "*" for the passwd field.

Regards,
--
-Chuck

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