System Administration Guide
Chapter 1, Administering user accounts

Password compatibility across UNIX systems

Password compatibility across UNIX systems

The password encryption scheme used by your SCO system maintains compatibility with other XENIX and UNIX system implementations, while providing the ability to create passwords with more than eight significant characters. However, if you are using the Improved or High security profiles, passwords of up to 80 characters are allowed, and these cannot be imported to UNIX systems from other vendors. To ensure compatibility, you can limit the number of characters considered significant when passwords are checked and encrypted.

To reconfigure the number of significant segments, use the command:

usermod -D -x "{passwdSignificantSegments value}"

where value is from 1 to 10. A value of 1 (instead of the 10 used in the Improved or High defaults) allows the encryption mechanism to ignore characters following the first eight, thus allowing complete compatibility with other systems.

WARNING: Most XENIX and UNIX systems will accept passwords longer than eight characters, but only use the first eight for encryption. This can cause unexpected results when moving an encrypted password string from one of these systems to an SCO system. If a password longer than eight characters has been used, such as ``narcissus'', only the first eight characters (``narcissu'') should be entered on an SCO system.

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