When users forget their Unix passwords you're likely to get the request to unlock their accounts. You might be surprised to see in SMIT that the account is not locked:
Lock / Unlock a User's Account
* User NAME testuser
Is this user ACCOUNT LOCKED? false
Then you change the user's password and you have a happy user logging in again.
Three strikes and you're out
If the user couldn't log in, why did AIX report the account was not locked? The problem was that the user had exceeded his number of unsuccessful logins. Once again, in SMIT you can see when you add or Change a user:
Number of FAILED LOGINS before user account is locked In the example above, this is set to 3. This field is called loginretries on the lsuser command.
You can see how close the user is to the threshold via the lsuser command:
lsuser -a loginretries unsuccessful_login_count testuser
testuser loginretries=3 unsuccessful_login_count=2456
This guy needs to think of a different password next time.
Not locked out at all
This user hasn't been permanently locked out of the system any more than you've been permanently locked out of your own house. He's just lost his key.
The account_locked attribute is for users who are not supposed to login again. Ever. That's for people who have left the company, for example. The loginretries is different. It just sets a limit on how many times a user can forget a password before coming cap in hand to the friendly AIX sys admin for some help.
You can reset the user's failed login count in SMIT:
Reset User's Failed Login CountOr you could do it on the command line using chuser:
chuser unsuccessful_login_count=0 testuser
When you change a password for a user using the passwd command, that automatically resets the unsuccessful_login_count to zero. That's clever, isn't it?
Facial muscles advice for the AIX Sys Admin
By the way, when users are repeat offenders with forgetting their passwords, it's a real art to show compassion while maintaining just the right hint of ever-so-slight annoyance. Most people err on the side of the latter, which is probably OK. It's not easy combining a sincere smile and a frown all in the one expression, but think how many muscles get exercised when you try.