FreeBSD man pages : vipw (8)
VIPW(8) FreeBSD System Manager's Manual VIPW(8)
vipw - edit the password file
vipw [-d directory]
The vipw utility edits the password file after setting the appropriate
locks, and does any necessary processing after the password file is
unlocked. If the password file is already locked for editing by another
user, vipw will ask you to try again later. The default editor for vipw
When run without options, vipw will work with the password files in /etc.
The -d option may be used to specify an alternative directory to work
The vipw utility performs a number of consistency checks on the password
entries, and will not allow a password file with a ``mangled'' entry to
be installed. If vipw rejects the new password file, the user is
prompted to re-enter the edit session.
Once the information has been verified, vipw uses pwd_mkdb(8) to update
the user database. This is run in the background, and, at very large
sites could take several minutes. Until this update is completed, the
password file is unavailable for other updates and the new information is
not available to programs.
If the following environment variable exists it will be utilized by vipw:
EDITOR The editor specified by the string EDITOR will be
invoked instead of the default editor vi(1).
PW_SCAN_BIG_IDS See pwd_mkdb(8).
chpass(1), passwd(1), passwd(5), adduser(8), pwd_mkdb(8)
The vipw utility appeared in 4.0BSD.
FreeBSD 4.8 June 6, 1993 FreeBSD 4.8