Set Password Minimum Length in login.defs

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To specify password length requirements for new accounts, edit the file /etc/login.defs and add or correct the following line:


The DoD requirement is 15. The FISMA requirement is 12. The profile requirement is 12. If a program consults /etc/login.defs and also another PAM module (such as pam_pwquality) during a password change operation, then the most restrictive must be satisfied. See PAM section for more information about enforcing password quality requirements.


Requiring a minimum password length makes password cracking attacks more difficult by ensuring a larger search space. However, any security benefit from an onerous requirement must be carefully weighed against usability problems, support costs, or counterproductive behavior that may result.