pwconv - convert to shadow account


pwconv [-P path]


pwconv installs and updates /etc/shadow with information from /etc/passwd. It relies on the special password ’x’ in the password field of the account. This value indicates that the password for the user is already in /etc/shadow and should not be modified.

If /etc/shadow does not exist, pwconv creates this file, moves the user password to it and creates default aging informations with the help of the values of PASS_MIN_DAYS, PASS_MAX_DAYS and PASS_WARN_AGE from /etc/login.defs. The password field in /etc/passwd is replaced with the special character ’x’.

If the /etc/shadow does exist, entries that are in the /etc/passwd file and not in the /etc/shadow file are added to the /etc/shadow file. Accounts, which only exist in /etc/passwd, are added to /etc/shadow. Entries that are in /etc/shadow and not in /etc/passwd are removed from /etc/shadow. All passwords from /etc/passwd are moved to /etc/shadow and replaced with the special character ’x’.

pwconv can be used for initial conversion and for updates later.


-P, --path path
 The passwd and shadow files are located below the specified directory path. pwconv will use this files, not /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow.


passwd - user account information
shadow - shadow user account information


passwd(1), login.defs(5), passwd(5), shadow(5), pwck(8), pwunconv(8)


Thorsten Kukuk <>

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