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I've read conflicting stuff on a few forums etc. regarding this. When I enter the following line:

grep nobody /etc/passwd

I get the following output

nobody:x:65534:65534:nobody:/nonexistent:/bin/sh

Should nobody have shell access? Can you qualify your answers please.

Thanks

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The nobody user shouldn't need a shell but you could find that changing it may break something on Ubuntu. You can always give it a shot by changing it to nologin and see if anything breaks. There may be other system users that should not have a shell as well, see Your Distro is Insecure: Ubuntu. The main reason that nobody shouldn't have a shell is that a lot of externally facing programs like httpd run as nobody and it provides a foothold into your system if someone can compromise the account. Having it set to nologin puts up another hurdle to jump although it probably isn't much of a hurdle.

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