chage(1) — Linux manual page


CHAGE(1)                      User Commands                     CHAGE(1)

NAME         top

       chage - change user password expiry information

SYNOPSIS         top

       chage [options] LOGIN

DESCRIPTION         top

       The chage command changes the number of days between password
       changes and the date of the last password change. This
       information is used by the system to determine when a user must
       change their password.

OPTIONS         top

       The options which apply to the chage command are:

       -d, --lastday LAST_DAY
           Set the number of days since January 1st, 1970 when the
           password was last changed. The date may also be expressed in
           the format YYYY-MM-DD (or the format more commonly used in
           your area). If the LAST_DAY is set to 0 the user is forced to
           change his password on the next log on.

       -E, --expiredate EXPIRE_DATE
           Set the date or number of days since January 1, 1970 on which
           the user's account will no longer be accessible. The date may
           also be expressed in the format YYYY-MM-DD (or the format
           more commonly used in your area). A user whose account is
           locked must contact the system administrator before being
           able to use the system again.

           For example the following can be used to set an account to
           expire in 180 days:

                        chage -E $(date -d +180days +%Y-%m-%d)

           Passing the number -1 as the EXPIRE_DATE will remove an
           account expiration date.

       -h, --help
           Display help message and exit.

       -i, --iso8601
           When printing dates, use YYYY-MM-DD format.

       -I, --inactive INACTIVE
           Set the number of days of inactivity after a password has
           expired before the account is locked. The INACTIVE option is
           the number of days of inactivity. A user whose account is
           locked must contact the system administrator before being
           able to use the system again.

           Passing the number -1 as the INACTIVE will remove an
           account's inactivity.

       -l, --list
           Show account aging information.

       -m, --mindays MIN_DAYS
           Set the minimum number of days between password changes to
           MIN_DAYS. A value of zero for this field indicates that the
           user may change their password at any time.

       -M, --maxdays MAX_DAYS
           Set the maximum number of days during which a password is
           valid. When MAX_DAYS plus LAST_DAY is less than the current
           day, the user will be required to change their password
           before being able to use their account. This occurrence can
           be planned for in advance by use of the -W option, which
           provides the user with advance warning.

           Passing the number -1 as MAX_DAYS will remove checking a
           password's validity.

       -R, --root CHROOT_DIR
           Apply changes in the CHROOT_DIR directory and use the
           configuration files from the CHROOT_DIR directory. Only
           absolute paths are supported.

       -P, --prefix PREFIX_DIR
           Apply changes to configuration files under the root
           filesystem found under the directory PREFIX_DIR. This option
           does not chroot and is intended for preparing a
           cross-compilation target. Some limitations: NIS and LDAP
           users/groups are not verified. PAM authentication is using
           the host files. No SELINUX support.

       -W, --warndays WARN_DAYS
           Set the number of days of warning before a password change is
           required. The WARN_DAYS option is the number of days prior to
           the password expiring that a user will be warned their
           password is about to expire.

       If none of the options are selected, chage operates in an
       interactive fashion, prompting the user with the current values
       for all of the fields. Enter the new value to change the field,
       or leave the line blank to use the current value. The current
       value is displayed between a pair of [ ] marks.

NOTE         top

       The chage program requires a shadow password file to be

       The chage program will report only the information from the
       shadow password file. This implies that configuration from other
       sources (e.g. LDAP or empty password hash field from the passwd
       file) that affect the user's login will not be shown in the chage

       The chage program will also not report any inconsistency between
       the shadow and passwd files (e.g. missing x in the passwd file).
       The pwck can be used to check for this kind of inconsistencies.

       The chage command is restricted to the root user, except for the
       -l option, which may be used by an unprivileged user to determine
       when their password or account is due to expire.


       The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change
       the behavior of this tool:

FILES         top

           User account information.

           Secure user account information.

EXIT VALUES         top

       The chage command exits with the following values:


           permission denied

           invalid command syntax

           can't find the shadow password file

SEE ALSO         top

       passwd(5), shadow(5).

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the shadow-utils (utilities for managing
       accounts and shadow password files) project.  Information about
       the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug
       report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-12-22.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2023-12-15.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

shadow-utils 4.11.1            12/22/2023                       CHAGE(1)

Pages that refer to this page: shadow(5)