Scripting the root password on Ubuntu 9.10 (karmic)

On Ubuntu 9.04 (jaunty) I had been generating and setting the root password in a bootstrapping script using:

# Generated MD5 encrypted password
/usr/bin/openssl passwd -1
# Set the password
/bin/echo 'root:ENCRYPTED_PASSWORD' | /usr/sbin/chpasswd -e

With shadow 4.1.4, chpasswd now uses PAM, and has dropped the -e option used above, as well as the -c option that I’d used to generate sha512 encrypted passwords. You’ll want to use mkpasswd from the whois package (yeah, weird) for that now, such as:

mkpasswd -m sha-512 -s

The password can be presented to useradd / usermod in encrypted format, such as:

/usr/sbin/useradd -m -p 'ENCRYPTED_PASSWORD' -G admin -s /bin/bash toor

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