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NAME

       passmass - change password on multiple machines

SYNOPSIS

       passmass [ host1 host2 host3 ...  ]

INTRODUCTION

       Passmass  changes  a  password  on  multiple  machines.   If  you have accounts on several
       machines that do not share password databases, Passmass can help  you  keep  them  all  in
       sync.  This, in turn, will make it easier to change them more frequently.

       When  Passmass runs, it asks you for the old and new passwords.  (If you are changing root
       passwords and have equivalencing, the old password is not used and may be omitted.)

       Passmass understands the "usual"  conventions.   Additional  arguments  may  be  used  for
       tuning.   They  affect  all  hosts  which follow until another argument overrides it.  For
       example, if you are known as "libes" on host1 and host2, but "don"  on  host3,  you  would
       say:

            passmass host1 host2 -user don host3

       Arguments are:

              -user
                  User whose password will be changed.  By default, the current user is used.

              -rlogin
                  Use rlogin to access host.  (default)

              -slogin
                  Use slogin to access host.

              -ssh
                  Use ssh to access host.

              -telnet
                  Use telnet to access host.

              -program

                  Next  argument  is  a program to run to set the password.  Default is "passwd".
                  Other common choices are "yppasswd" and "set  passwd"  (e.g.,  VMS  hosts).   A
                  program  name  such  as  "password  fred" can be used to create entries for new
                  accounts (when run as root).

              -prompt
                  Next argument is a prompt suffix pattern.  This allows the script to know  when
                  the  shell  is  prompting.   The default is "# " for root and "% " for non-root
                  accounts.

              -timeout
                  Next argument is the number of seconds to wait for responses.   Default  is  30
                  but some systems can be much slower logging in.

              -su

                  Next  argument  is  1  or  0.   If  1, you are additionally prompted for a root
                  password which is used to su after logging  in.   root's  password  is  changed
                  rather  than  the  user's.  This is useful for hosts which do not allow root to
                  log in.

HOW TO USE

       The best way to run Passmass is to put the command in a one-line shell  script  or  alias.
       Whenever  you  get  a  new  account on a new machine, add the appropriate arguments to the
       command.  Then run it whenever you want to change your passwords on all the hosts.

CAVEATS

       Using the same password on multiple hosts carries risks.  In particular, if  the  password
       can  be  stolen, then all of your accounts are at risk.  Thus, you should not use Passmass
       in situations where your password is visible, such as across a network which  hackers  are
       known to eavesdrop.

       On  the  other  hand, if you have enough accounts with different passwords, you may end up
       writing them down somewhere - and that can be a security problem.  Funny story: my college
       roommate  had  an 11"x13" piece of paper on which he had listed accounts and passwords all
       across the Internet.  This was several years worth of careful work and he carried it  with
       him everywhere he went.  Well one day, he forgot to remove it from his jeans, and we found
       a perfectly blank sheet of paper when we took out the wash the following day!

SEE ALSO

       "Exploring Expect: A Tcl-Based Toolkit for Automating Interactive Programs" by Don  Libes,
       O'Reilly and Associates, January 1995.

AUTHOR

       Don Libes, National Institute of Standards and Technology

                                          7 October 1993                              PASSMASS(1)