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What are system accounts? - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

Hello, I am wondering what exactly is a system account? I am looking for a way to create users that can't log on (and have no passwords), ie that are only used to run demons (like 'nobody' is for httpd). I suspect that system accounts might be the ticket? Would it be enough to create one with useradd -r without specifying a password? Another thing I seem to remember (I think it was in the manual to some ftp server) is to set the users shell to something impossible, maybe that would be another/better/the only way? I've seen some accounts ...

  1. #1

    Default What are system accounts?

    Hello,

    I am wondering what exactly is a system account? I am looking for a way
    to create users that can't log on (and have no passwords), ie that are
    only used to run demons (like 'nobody' is for httpd). I suspect that
    system accounts might be the ticket?

    Would it be enough to create one with useradd -r without specifying a
    password?

    Another thing I seem to remember (I think it was in the manual to some
    ftp server) is to set the users shell to something impossible, maybe
    that would be another/better/the only way? I've seen some accounts in
    /etc/passwd with /bin/false as shell, is that it? On the other hand
    'nobody' appears to be preconfigured with /bin/bash...

    Or should I just stop worrying too much, set up users with a password
    that nobody knows, and be done with it?

    Many thanks in advance!


    Bjoern


    Bjoern Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: What are system accounts?

    Bjoern <net> wrote: 

    Edit your passwd file to taste, and stop stumbling over nomenclature.

    Peter
    Peter Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: What are system accounts?

    Bjoern wrote:
     

    I'd also urge you to set the shell to "/sbin/nologin", and make sure it
    has a UID less than 500 or so to indicate that it is in fact a system
    account, not a local user account.
     

    See above. What you need depends on the specific account. If you need to
    be able to "su" to that user's account and run normal shell commands,
    such as "postgres" for a postgresql daemon, then you may need an active
    shell.

    Nico Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: What are system accounts?

    Bjoern wrote:
     

    I forgot to add: if you're running an NIS server, there is a setting for
    Linux's version of NIS to prevent publishing NIS accounts with UID's
    less than some specific number. This allows you to have system accounts
    on your NIS server that are not published to the clients, preventing all
    sorts of fascinating conflicts. So it's also helpful to keep system
    accounts with low-numbered UID's.

    Nico Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: What are system accounts?

    Many thanks for the helpful answers!


    Bjoern

    Nico Kadel-Garcia wrote: 
    >
    >
    > I forgot to add: if you're running an NIS server, there is a setting for
    > Linux's version of NIS to prevent publishing NIS accounts with UID's
    > less than some specific number. This allows you to have system accounts
    > on your NIS server that are not published to the clients, preventing all
    > sorts of fascinating conflicts. So it's also helpful to keep system
    > accounts with low-numbered UID's.
    >[/ref]

    Bjoern Guest

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