Changing your password

When you receive your account info, please log in to and change your password with the passwd command.

When picking your password there are a few considerations that you need to make. Specifically it should be something easy for you to remember and difficult for others to guess. It should be at least 12 characters. It does not need to be a "word", it can be multiple words or even a short phrase. Good passwords will also mix multiple classes of characters (a character class being uppercase, lowercase, numeric, and special characters). An example of the process to create a good pass-phrase could be as follows (never use this example, or any example in any documentation):
  • 1. Tea time at noon
  • 2. Ttime@noon
  • 3. Ttime@n00n
  • 4. Tt1me@n00n

That is an example of taking a short phrase and distilling it down to a reasonable password that mixes all 4 classes of letters.

There are certain things that should never be used as a password or even the base of a password. Some of these are:
  • Anything printed in documentation
  • A word (a single word) in a dictionary, or a slang word (even non-English words are poor choices - the bad guys aren't always English, and they always have a lot of dictionaries)
  • Your login name
  • A proper name, or any part of your own name
  • A word in the system dictionary (type ``man look'' to find out about checking the system dictionary)
  • Your phone number, your office number, your address, or any part of your DNA sequence.

Password changes may take up to 5 minutes to propogate.

-- StevenLindsey - 2012-05-10
Topic revision: r5 - 25 Mar 2014, StevenLindsey
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