If a user attempts to log in and uses the wrong password a certain number of times, then that user account is locked. The exact number of failed attempts that locks an account and the duration of the lockout is defined as part of the password policy (Section 19.6, “Setting Account Lockout Policies”
A password policy can implicitly define a reset period, where the account unlocks naturally after a certain amount of time lapses. However, if the duration is fairly long or if the deployment requires stronger security checks before unlocking an account, then an administrator can unlock an account manually.
An account is unlocked using the
user-unlock command. For example:
[bjensen@ipaserver ~]$ kinit admin
[bjensen@ipaserver ~]$ ipa user-unlock jsmith