It seems like password aging limit is responsible for regular change of password.But my questions are,

  1. What exactly it is and which password does it change?
  2. How can I configure it to change the password regularly, say every week.

If necessary, note that I use Ubuntu 12.10


Password aging is a mechanism that allows the system to enforce a certain lifetime for passwords. While this may be moderately inconvenient for users, it ensures that passwords are changed occasionally, which is a good security practice. Most Linux distributions do not enable password aging by default, but it's very easy to enable.

By editing /etc/login.defs, you can specify a few parameters to set the default settings for password aging:


change These values as you want. change 9999 to 7 to enforce all users to change their password every 7 days.



It is probaly called "password age limit". You can set it with the x option from passwd

passwd -x 7 $USER

will force you to issue a new password for the current user every 7 days.

From the manual

-x, --maxdays MAX_DAYS

Set the maximum number of days a password remains valid. After MAX_DAYS, the password is required to be changed.


The PASS_MAX_DAYS parameter in /etc/login.defs allows you to force passwords to expire once they reach a defined age. It is recommended that the PASS_MAX_DAYS parameter be set to less than or equal to 90 days.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.