chage - change user password expiry information


chage [-D binddn] [-P path] [-m mindays]
 [-M maxdays] [-d lastday] [-I inactive] [-E expiredate] [-W warndays] user
chage -l [user]


chage is used to list and change the password expiry information of a user. It allows the system administrator to change the number of days between allowed and required password changes and the date of the last password change. It allows also to define when an account will expire. The chage command is restricted to the system administrator, except for the -l option, which may be used by an user to determine when his password or account is due to expire.

If no option is given, chage operates in an interactive mode, prompting the user with the current values for all of the fields. Enter the new value to change the field, or leave the line blank to use the current value. If the users exists in the local passwd file, but not in the local shadow file, chage will create a new entry in the shadow file.


-D, --binddn binddn
 Use the Distinguished Name binddn to bind to the LDAP directory. The user will be prompted for a password for simple authentication.
-P, --path path
 The passwd and shadow files are located below the specified directory path. chage will use this files, not /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow. This is useful for example on NIS master servers, where you do not want to give all users in the NIS database automatic access to your NIS server and the NIS map is build from special files.
-l, --list
 This option will list the password expiry information in a human readable format. The user will see the date when he changed the password the last time, when the password will be expire, when the password will be locked and when the account will expire.
-m, --mindays mindays
 With this option the minimum number of days between password changes is changed. A value of zero for this field indicates that the user may change her password at any time. Else the user will not be permitted to change the password until min days have elapsed.
-M, --maxdays maxdays
 With this option the maximum number of days during which a password is valid is changed. When maxdays plus lastday is less than the current day, the user will be required to change his password before being able to use the account.
-d, --lastday lastday
 With this option the date when the password was last changed can be set to another value. lastday has to be specified as number of days since January 1st, 1970. The date may also be expressed in the format YYYY-MM-DD. If supported by the system, a value of zero forces the user to change the password at next login.
-E, --expiredate expiredate
 With this option the date when the account will be expired can be changed. expiredate has to be specified as number of days since January 1st, 1970. The date may also be expressed in the format YYYY-MM-DD.
-I, --inactive inactive
 This option is used to set the number of days of inactivity after a password has expired before the account is locked. A user whose account is locked must contact the system administrator before being able to use the account again. A value of -1 disables this feature.
-W, --warndays warndays
 With this option the number of days of warning before a password change is required can be changed. This option is the number of days prior to the password expiring that a user will be warned the password is about to expire.


passwd - user account information
shadow - shadow user account information


passwd(1), passwd(5)


Thorsten Kukuk <>

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