Where and how exactly I can set the expiration time of password of users i.e.the time after which the UNIX OS prompts user after giving some warnings that your password will expire with in n days and then expire the user's password?

  • What flavor of Unix?
    – kmarsh
    Nov 5, 2009 at 12:55

3 Answers 3


But you need to use the passwd command with the maxdays and warndays set:

e.g. passwd --maxdays 10 --warndays 5 user

would set the maxdays between password changes as 10, and give 5 days warning.

EDIT: So if you have a list of usernames in a text file one per line then the following might work:

cat usernamelist | while read $a; do passwd --maxdays 10 --warndays 5 $a; done
  • 1
    This work well if I am the user, what if I need to do it for all users and I am not the uder but the admin.
    – Sachin Chourasiya
    Nov 5, 2009 at 10:48
  • No, this will only work if you are root.
    – RobS
    Nov 5, 2009 at 11:29

Maybe you want to take a look at the chage command.

chage -l john

Last password change                                    : May 22, 2007
Password expires                                        : never
Password inactive                                       : never
Account expires                                         : never
Minimum number of days between password change          : 0
Maximum number of days between password change          : 99999
Number of days of warning before password expires       : 7
  • chage is not working on ksh man chage No manual entry for chage
    – Sachin Chourasiya
    Nov 5, 2009 at 11:43
  • Yes, sorry. I just know it from Debian.
    – wishi
    Nov 5, 2009 at 13:54

It is not part of the Unix standard, and is completely different depending on what OS you are using, and if you are using some sort of directory service. If you want to know you need to specify what OS you are using, and if it is Linux you probably need to specify what distro.

  • Louis, I am using linux,and I need to configure such setting that the passwords for all users will expire after a definite time.
    – Sachin Chourasiya
    Nov 5, 2009 at 10:23
  • @Sachin, Louis asked that you state what distro you're using. From what I understand this feature is not a standard on UNIX/Linux systems but may be available on some Linux distro. So let us know which one you're using.
    – Helen
    Nov 5, 2009 at 10:49
  • @Helen, I knew this is not a part of standard , but this is some what I need to conmfigure so as to achieve the automatic password expiration facility and thus to ensure the security.
    – Sachin Chourasiya
    Nov 5, 2009 at 11:13
  • can you please list your distro -- preferably the output of cat /etc/issue
    – phoenix8
    Nov 5, 2009 at 12:04

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