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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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default — system default database file for a trusted system




The system default database is unique in that it defines system-wide global parameters for a trusted system. It is designed to provide values for users and devices on a global scale rather than requiring an administrator to replicate values in user or device databases when they are all the same. In addition to being easier to specify global values, it is also much easier to make a global system change if necessary.

The system default database is made up of four types of values:

system-wide parameters

These are parameters that do not have corresponding specifications in any other trusted system database. If a system-wide parameter is not specified in the default database, then it is undefined.

user parameters

These parameters are typically specified in a protected password database file.

terminal control parameters

These parameters are typically specified in the terminal control database file.

device assignment parameters

These parameters are typically specified in the device assignment database file.

System default parameters may be specified for fields found in the protected password, terminal control, and device assignment databases. When a specific entry is retrieved from one of these databases, a structure called, ufld that contains all of the explicitly specified values, is provided to the caller. A second structure, called sfld, is also provided which defines those values supplied from the system default database. Each of these structures has a corresponding flag structure called uflg and sflg, respectively, that indicates which fields in each structure have been specified and are valid for use. Programs honor the user or device specific value first if one is provided. Otherwise, the program may choose to use the system default value if one has been specified. If neither value is specified, the program may supply a reasonable default value or abort.

For descriptions of the specific fields provided by the protected password, terminal control, and device assignment databases, see the corresponding manual pages listed in the SEE ALSO section for those databases. The following fields are unique to the system default database and can not be specified in any of the other system databases.


This name is set to the string "default".


This flag field indicates whether or not boot authentication is required to boot the machine. If authentication is required, it is performed by the system init(1M) program prior to completing system boot.


The following is an example of a typical system default database. Refer to authcap(4) for descriptions of the file and line formats.

default:\ :d_name=default:\ :d_boot_authenticate@:\ :u_pwd=*:\ :u_minchg#0:u_maxlen#10:u_exp#15724800:u_life#31449600:\ :u_pickpw@:u_genpwd@:u_restrict@:u_nullpw@:\ :u_genchars@:u_genletters@:\ :u_maxtries#5:u_lock:\ :t_logdelay#2:t_maxtries#10:\ :chkent:

This system default database defines the four different types of values which are supported. First, values that can be assigned on a system-wide only basis are defined. Boot authentication at system startup is not enabled. Login programs will provide password expiration warnings if the password expires in less than 604800 seconds from the current system time (this translates into 60*60*24*7 or 7 days).

The system default database also defines numerous protected password database default values. Fields that begin with u_ correspond to protected password fields. Similarly, fields starting with the t_ prefix are terminal control database fields. These field types are used to supply system-wide default values if a user or device specific value is not supplied by the corresponding database. See the appropriate manual pages listed in the SEE ALSO section for these databases for a complete description of the applicable fields.


HP-UX 11i Version 3 is the last release to support trusted systems functionality.



system default database file for a trusted system; see authcap(4)


protected password database files; see prpwd(4)


terminal control database file; see ttys(4)


device assignment database file; see devassign(4)


default was developed by HP.

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