Remove the bad password wait period

whenever you mistype a password Ubuntu will pause for two seconds before letting you try again. This is for a good reason, because hackers often try "brute force" techniques to guess the password. This involves using a computer program to try millions of passwords until the right one is found. The two second delay when a bad password is supplied makes such an approach much more impractical.

However, if you—like me—sometimes seem to have one too many fingers and constantly mistype the password, you can reduce the delay to zero.13 This will mean that, upon a bad password being entered, you'll immediately be prompted to try again.

Start by opening the /etc/pam.d/common-auth password in Gedit by typing the following into a terminal window: $ gksu gedit /etc/pam.d/common-auth

13. perhaps it goes without saying that you should never use the above tip on a computer that's directly accessible on the Internet, such as a server, or a workstation with a fixed non-private range IP address. Any computer connected to a server will see probings by hackers on a daily if not hourly basis, and a brute force attack to guess a password is highly likely.

Make desktop icons REALLY big M 138

Then look for the line that reads auth requisite nullok_secure, and add nodelay to the end, so it now reads auth requisite nullok_secure nodelay. Then save the file and reboot the computer.

You should be able to test your change at the Ubuntu login prompt— deliberately try a bad password and see what happens.

Note that this tip will reduce the bad password delay in all password entry situations, including when requesting sudo/gksu powers, and so on.

Is your eyesight not what it was? Right-click any desktop icon and click Stretch Icon. Then pull the handles at the corners of the icon. Most icons can go to a quarter of the screen-size, but some look better than others. Those that look good are SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) icons. The default Human iconset is SVG. To make icons small again, right-click them and click Restore Icon's Original Size.

For more look-and-feel tweaks, see Tip 74, on page 131; Tip 21, on page 79; Tip 147, on page 192; Tip 199, on page 237; Tip 220, on page 255; Tip 274, on page 313; and Tip 289, on page 338.

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