SUMMARY - /etc/shells

From: Michael Galloway (
Date: Sat Feb 03 1996 - 16:08:13 CST

thanks everyone!

my original question:

-> after looking at the sun-managers archive a bit it appears that
-> the alternate shell's path must be listed in a file called
-> /etc/shells for ftp to work. i don't really understand this, and
-> further i cannot find any reference to /etc/shells in my man
-> pages. my system is sunos 4.1.4 and i does not have an /etc/shells
-> file, but i am having problems with ftp/tcsh.

-> i guess my question is what is the deal with /etc/shells?

The answer is that ftpd authenticates users based on several
rules, one of which is that

    + The user must have a standard shell returned by


     getusershell() returns a pointer to a legal user shell as
     defined by the system manager in the file /etc/shells. If
     /etc/shells does not exist, the four locations of the two
     standard system shells /bin/sh, /bin/csh, /usr/bin/sh and
     /usr/bin/csh are returned.
bottom line, see man ftpd and getusershell for complete details.

once again, muchos gracias to all (many!) who responded.


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