LightDM and Expired Passwords

Part of our migration effort includes a disk imaging process. Within that process is an option to support multiple user accounts rather than a single generic account. With multiple user accounts we want to ensure users create new passwords.

Administratively, forcing a user to change the account password is straightforward using chage -d 0 $username. That command expires the password.

Expiring passwords when using lightdm is a befuddling experience. Yet another example of software designed and tested by geeks rather than tested with ordinary users.

The correct sequence of steps to use lightdm with an expired password:

  1. Type the user name and previous password.
  2. Type the previous or default password.
  3. A yellow banner appears in the dialog with the text Changing password for $username.
  4. Type the same previous or default password.
  5. The dialog redraws to the normal dialog. There is no prompt or banner to type the new password.
  6. Type the new password.
  7. A yellow banner appears in the dialog with the text Retype new UNIX password.
  8. Type the new password.

The first banner should be two lines:

    Changing password for $username
    Type your current password.

Where the banner is missing should be the text:

Type your new password.

The third banner should read:

Retype your new password

The word UNIX is distracting, especially to non technical users.

By the way, do not use NumLock if the password contains numbers. Both the chage command and lightdm seem to ignore NumLock. Yet another geek triumph of usability.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General, Migrate, Ubuntu

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