Root password restrictions

Matthew Dillon dillon at
Sat May 12 15:21:50 PDT 2007

:Greetings all,
:	I've noticed that the root account password (according to the
:installer) cannot contain punctuation; why is this? A major part of creating
:good passwords is the use of punctuation and special characters. Are there
:plans to reverse this or was this an intentional design decision?
:Ronald E Dahlgren

    I think that's a quirk of the installer.  The normal passwd command
    doesn't have such restrictions.

    But you don't have to set a root password in the installer at all.
    In fact, you generally do not have to set a root password, ever.
    Root logins are disallowed by default so the only way to get to
    root is to su from another account.  These days people almost never
    assign passwords to accounts and instead use SSH for all remote
    access, including access to the root account by changing the
    PermitRootLogin declaration in /etc/ssh/sshd_config to 'without-password'
    (which basically means: only via authenticated public keys).

					Matthew Dillon 
					<dillon at>

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