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Re: How do I unlock files?

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: Re: How do I unlock files?
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 13:34:46 -0500 (EST)

[ On Friday, December 6, 2002 at 11:45:28 (-0600), WALTERS, CRAIG P [AG/1000] 
wrote: ]
> Subject: How do I unlock files?
> We have an occasional problem where someone will lock a file and then leave
> the company without unlocking it.  When this person leaves, their accounts
> are deleted.

Do not ever delete accounts on un*x systems! -- at least not without
first being absolutely 100% sure that all trace of the UID and username
has been eliminated from filesystems and from within all files (and all
backups that might be partially restored -- i.e. restored without also
restoring the user database).

You should lock such accounts instead.  This is normally quite easy to
do -- and can usually even be done without destroying the password
(i.e. making it possible to temporarily lock an account without having
to reassign the password to re-enable it).  R_your_FM for details on how
to do this on your system, though usually prefixing the existing
encrypted password field with something like "*LOCK*" will suffice.

It's safest to never reuse UIDs, GIDs, usernames, or group names, and
that's most easily done by simply never deleting accounts or groups.

(On MULTICS it was not possible, IIRC, to ever delete user information! :-)

                                                                Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098;            <address@hidden>;           <address@hidden>
Planix, Inc. <address@hidden>; VE3TCP; Secrets of the Weird <address@hidden>

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