It contains all the information of the users who log into the system. It contains a list of the systemâ€™s accounts, giving for each account some useful information like user ID, group ID, home directory, shell, etc. It should have general read permission as many utilities, like ls use it to map user IDs to user names, but write access only for the superuser (root). The main fields of /etc/passwd file are:
1. Username: It is used when user logs in. It should be between 1 and 32 characters in length.
2. Password: An x character indicates that encrypted password is stored in /etc/shadow file.
3. User ID (UID): Each user must be assigned a user ID (UID). UID 0 (zero) is reserved for root and UIDs 1-99 are reserved for other predefined accounts. Further UID 100-999 are reserved by system for administrative and system accounts/groups.
4. Group ID (GID): The primary group ID (stored in /etc/group file)
5. User ID Info: The comment field. It allow you to add extra information about the users such as userâ€™s full name, phone number etc. This field use by finger command.
6. Home directory: The absolute path to the directory the user will be in when they log in. If this directory does not exists then users directory becomes /
7. Command/shell: The absolute path of a command or shell (/bin/bash). Typically, this is a shell.