Information, Technology & Consulting

What Is A Safe Linux Password?

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Your initial password, and subsequent resets made by a system administrator, will be a combination of your Dartmouth ID number and a random set of characters that will be emailed to you. You should change your password to one of your own choosing as soon as you are able to log in, using the passwd command at the shell prompt.

Good passwords should be as random a sequence of characters as you can create and still remember. Some systems limit you to eight characters, but longer passwords are recommended. Some systems may also vet your password and reject simple words.

  • Do not use your username or something closely related to it.
  • Do not use your birthday, Social Security Number, a pet's name, or other personal information that could easily be discovered by others.
  • Do not use a word in the dictionary.
  • Do use a mixture of letters, numbers, and punctuation, and upper- and lower-case characters.

The recommended method of selecting a password is to think of a phrase that has some meaning to you, then use initial letters or numbers from the phrase. You can remember a password phrase more easily than a random sequence. For example, Raindrops on roses and Whiskers on kittens: Ror&Wok.

In the event of a problem send email to [email protected].

Topic: 
Research Computing
Subtopic: 
Research Computing Consulting
Last updated: 
Monday, July 18, 2016

If you have questions or need further information, contact your department's IT support office, or contact the IT Service Desk via email at [email protected], via phone at 603-646-2999 or walk in to see them in Baker/Berry 178J.

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