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I was asked what the difference is between /etc/passwd and /etc/passwd- but have not been able to find anything. Can someone please help me understand what the difference is?

  • What is -passwd? – Eric Renouf Jan 11 '16 at 13:36
  • Welcome on SuperUser. Can you explain what is it -passwd and what it does? Please edit your post and maybe add a reference where you read about it... for the ones that read you the 1st time it can be difficult to understand what you mean. How to Ask – Hastur Jan 11 '16 at 14:01
  • actually one of my senior asked me the question – akshay Jan 11 '16 at 14:30
  • what is the difference between passwd and -passwd(hyphen) – akshay Jan 11 '16 at 14:31
  • sorry its passwd- – akshay Jan 11 '16 at 14:33
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Ah, now I see your question. You are not asking about a command passwd- you are asking about the file /etc/passwd-. That is a backup of the /etc/passwd file. You can see so in the man page

/etc/passwd- Backup file for /etc/passwd.

      Note that this file is used by the tools of the shadow toolsuite,
      but not by all user and password management tools.

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