SUMMARY: Password File entries

From: Dave Compton (
Date: Wed Mar 12 1997 - 06:47:58 CST

Thanks to everyone that responded.

Here is what I learned.

First, I am running NIS and this is a Sun Solaris 2.5.1 system.
The entry is in the local passwd file of a NIS client machine.

Basically the entry +myname::0:0::: means this:

The "+" sign causes the program reading /etc/passwd on the client to
make a network request to read the passwd map on the server. You could
replace the "0:0" with the user's actual UID and GID if you wished
however, getpwuid() actually goes to the NIS map and overrides the UID &
GID values that you specify.

Breaking it down it means that the user "myname" has login access to
this client and that his/her UID/GID will be obtained from the NIS maps.
A "-" sign in front of "myname" would take away that user's access.

An entry of +::0:0::: would allow all user's to have access and would
read their information from the NIS maps. An entry of +:*:0:0::: would
import all entries from the NIS passwd map but each will have its
password entry changed to "*", effectively preventing it from being used
on the client machine.

Again thanks to everyone.

Dave Compton
NASA's Earth Observing System

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