[CentOS] Re: Copying user accounts (passwords) to another server

Kevan Benson kbenson at a-1networks.com
Wed Nov 29 20:46:13 UTC 2006

On Wednesday 29 November 2006 05:43, Walt Reed wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 29, 2006 at 01:31:48PM -0000, Nigel Kendrick said:
> > I am doing a server swap out tomorrow and wondered if there was a utility
> > that will copy user account details and their current passwords from one
> > server to another (both CentOS 4) - there's only about 15 to do so it's
> > not a major issue.
> Rsync and scp are your friend.
> You can either cut and paste the user info from the /etc/passwd, shadow,
> and group files manually, or copy the entire files which wiill also copy
> over all the system accounts (root password and such):
> cd /etc
> scp -p passwd shadow group newserver:/etc
> Then of course you will probably need to copy the user home directories
> over:
> cd /home
> rsync -aze ssh * newserver:/home

It's worth noting that if you use external packages (rpmforge, kbsingh), that 
some packages may create users without a set UID (as the core packages seem 
to have), and if already installed on the new system, it might be using a 
different UID.  In these cases, you should either copy regular user portions 
of the files only, or take a careful look at a diff between the old and new 
files to ensure there are no problems.

This caused me a few minutes of confusion with clamav/clamd (specifically the 
milter socket) which had an incorrect owner after passwd sync on a mail 
server migration.

- Kevan Benson
- A-1 Networks

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