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This is the BSDA Study Guide Book written via a wiki collaboration. This is a work in progress. You may contribute to or discuss this specific page at http://bsdwiki.reedmedia.net/wiki/Create_a_system_account.html.
Create a system account
Understand that many services require an account and that such accounts should not be available for logins.
A system account is generally a user used for a specific purpose and associated with a specific daemon. They are normal accounts with a UID, but usually differ for a few reasons:
A default install of a BSD system has several system accounts, for example:
TODO: put some hash in the root's password field or maybe do not include "root" here
Notice that system accounts usually have an asterisk in the password field. No hash algorithm can match this, so the password is disabled.
Also the default shell for many system users is commonly the
TODO: explain purposes of these at least TODO: explain path to nologin differs or point to section that talks about it? TODO: point to section that explains ampersand in gecos field TODO: explain nobody
Other common system accounts include: uucp, www, toor, bind or named, proxy, and mailnull or postfix. Installing packages may also include additional system accounts, such as cyrus, gdm, and pgsql.
TODO: mention system groups also
TODO: mention dedicated accounts -- such as users or groups for mail or source builds or backup jobs, etc.
TODO: show example using useradd and pw to create a system user
nologin(8); using a * in the password field of passwd(5)