By default the supplied password must be in clear-text, and is encrypted by chgpasswd.
The default encryption algorithm can be defined for the system with the ENCRYPT_METHOD variable of /etc/login.defs, and can be overwiten with the -e, -m, or -c options.
This command is intended to be used in a large system environment where many accounts are created at a single time.
The options which apply to the chgpasswd command are:
The available methods are DES, MD5, NONE, and SHA256 or SHA512 if your libc support these methods.
-R, --root CHROOT_DIR
The value 0 means that the system will choose the default number of rounds for the crypt method (5000).
A minimal value of 1000 and a maximal value of 999,999,999 will be enforced.
You can only use this option with the SHA256 or SHA512 crypt method.
By default, the number of rounds is defined by the SHA_CRYPT_MIN_ROUNDS and SHA_CRYPT_MAX_ROUNDS variables in /etc/login.defs.
Remember to set permissions or umask to prevent readability of unencrypted files by other users.
You should make sure the passwords and the encryption method respect the system's password policy.
The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change the behavior of this tool:
It can take one of these values: DES (default), MD5, SHA256, SHA512.
Note: this parameter overrides the MD5_CRYPT_ENAB variable.
Note: This only affect the generation of group passwords. The generation of user passwords is done by PAM and subject to the PAM configuration. It is recommended to set this variable consistently with the PAM configuration.
The default value is 0, meaning that there are no limits in the number of members in a group.
This feature (split group) permits to limit the length of lines in the group file. This is useful to make sure that lines for NIS groups are not larger than 1024 characters.
If you need to enforce such limit, you can use 25.
Note: split groups may not be supported by all tools (even in the Shadow toolsuite). You should not use this variable unless you really need it.
This variable is superseded by the ENCRYPT_METHOD variable or by any command line option used to configure the encryption algorithm.
This variable is deprecated. You should use ENCRYPT_METHOD.
SHA_CRYPT_MIN_ROUNDS (number), SHA_CRYPT_MAX_ROUNDS (number)
With a lot of rounds, it is more difficult to brute forcing the password. But note also that more CPU resources will be needed to authenticate users.
If not specified, the libc will choose the default number of rounds (5000).
The values must be inside the 1000-999,999,999 range.
If only one of the SHA_CRYPT_MIN_ROUNDS or SHA_CRYPT_MAX_ROUNDS values is set, then this value will be used.
If SHA_CRYPT_MIN_ROUNDS > SHA_CRYPT_MAX_ROUNDS, the highest value will be used.
gpasswd(1), groupadd(8), login.defs(5).