Difference between etc/passwd and the etc/shadow

December 2016




What's the difference between etc/passwd and the etc/shadow file?
  • In the line:
    • root:my_password:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash
  • The field match:
    • login:pwd:iduser:idgroup:homedirectory:shell
  • /etc/passwd is readable by everyone but the passwords are stored in /etc/shadow, are only readable only under root account. They are encoded with MD5 for better security.

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