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Howto copy Users and Passwords to secondary system?
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Thread: Howto copy Users and Passwords to secondary system?

  1. #1

    Howto copy Users and Passwords to secondary system?

    Hello you all!

    Situation:
    I'm running a 1U put-it-together-from-the-scrap-heap-your-self server. The server is co-located in Amsterdam, NL. I'm running RH 9.0 Since RH has decided to stop developing, I decided to change to a different distro. This server is serving about a hundred e-mail addresses and a dozen webpages. This server is not redundant, it has no backup. I know, a bit silly but that is just the way it is. To make the change to the 'new' distro the server needs to go down for a few days. The dozen webpages are ok with that. BUT: I want to keep the e-mail (a)live.

    I've installed a small box at home. It is running RH 9.0. For the time being it will run as the backup mail server. I want to transfer all email accounts to this server.

    Question:
    How do I copy the (linux) usersnames AND passwords to the backup server without having all my users to re-type their passwords?

    Can I copy the entire home dir (also the location of the email boxes) so that no email will be lost?

    If you need any additional info please let me know.
    Any help is appriciated!

    Crazy Ivan

    Forgive me when you are under the impression that I didn't search this subject enough. I tried, and search keys like 'user' and 'copy' did come up quite a few times. Not with the information I was looking for.

  2. #2
    Guest

    Re:Howto copy Users and Passwords to secondary system?

    If you do not have shadow passwords enabled, you should be able to copy the /etc/passwd file to the new box. That will bring over all the users and thier passwords. I would tar the home directories as well and either burn it to disc or ftp it.

  3. #3

    Re:Howto copy Users and Passwords to secondary system?

    How can I dubble check if I have the shadow passwords enabled?

    Just copy-ing the /etc/passwd will make new users on the new box?

    Cheers!

  4. #4

    Re:Howto copy Users and Passwords to secondary system?

    Two ways:
    one, is to look at the passwd file, if encrypted passwords are next to it, then no.
    or look for an etc/shadow

    Anyway, here's my recommendation if it's shadowed:

    oldbox: run pwunconv
    then copy your /etc/passwd to the new box
    old and new box: run pwconv

    this will make the new box shadowed as well.

  5. #5

    Re:Howto copy Users and Passwords to secondary system?

    That hit the spot! It worked. Thank you kind!

    The username and the encrypted password were seprated indeed. So my both systems work with the /etc/shadow file. Is guess it's a security thing. It's a little more work, I'm sure it's worth it though.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6

    Re:Howto copy Users and Passwords to secondary system?

    It's because the /etc/passwd is readable by all, which is a huge security risk if it holds the passwords, /etc/shadow is only readable by root and the group shadow.

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