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8.2 pwd -- The password database

Availability: Unix.

This module provides access to the Unix user account and password database. It is available on all Unix versions.

Password database entries are reported as a tuple-like object, whose attributes correspond to the members of the passwd structure (Attribute field below, see <pwd.h>):

 
Index  Attribute  Meaning 
pw_name Login name
pw_passwd Optional encrypted password
pw_uid Numerical user ID
pw_gid Numerical group ID
pw_gecos User name or comment field
pw_dir User home directory
pw_shell User command interpreter

The uid and gid items are integers, all others are strings. KeyError is raised if the entry asked for cannot be found.

Note: In traditional Unix the field pw_passwd usually contains a password encrypted with a DES derived algorithm (see module crypt ). However most modern unices use a so-called shadow password system. On those unices the field pw_passwd only contains a asterisk ('*') or the letter "x" where the encrypted password is stored in a file /etc/shadow which is not world readable.

It defines the following items:

 
getpwuid( uid)
Return the password database entry for the given numeric user ID.
 
getpwnam( name)
Return the password database entry for the given user name.
 
getpwall( )
Return a list of all available password database entries, in arbitrary order.

See Also:

Module grp:
An interface to the group database, similar to this.

  

 

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