Linux allows a number of methods for password management. The default is local one-way salted hash using a 56-bit DES encryption. There are also other methods, such as NIS and LDAP single sign-on methods, that can be swapped in so that when you create a user on Linux, you are also authenticated for other systems, as well as for Windows. The default Linux "useradd" system command will use the appropriate method that your system is configured for, so your admin can always use the same commands to create new user accounts, and be sure that it will "do the right thing". Of course, the default local account won't allow you access to other systems in your network, and that is the entire point of "single sign-on" methods, because we are all connected to networks of computers these days, and often need to access different systems to do different jobs, and don't REALLY want to remember a bunch of different user ID's and passwords, do we? :-) My company has a single sign-on configuration, so my assigned user ID and password work with ANY system that I am authorized to access, be they Windows, Linux, or other, and we have over 100,000 employees! So, in my job, I can access ANY authorized company system with just one user ID and password. Of course, we have test systems/networks that I access which are not connected to the single sign-on infrastructure, so we have to use different user IDs and passwords for those, but that is the exception, rather than the rule.