SUMMARY: and QUESTION: Using netgroup w/o NIS access

From: Victor Germani (
Date: Thu Jul 10 1997 - 16:56:29 CDT


Thanks to all for the answers although I have not been able to get any
of the non-nis related options to work. I know that the netgroup man
page states that nis is required for this to work but there are some out
there who have mentioned that it should work without. I just want to
make sure I'm doing it right before I give up...

I have created a /etc/netgroup file on the server which contains the
directories I neet to share. This file looks kije this:

test (machine1,,)

It only contains 1 machine for testing purposes.

I then edited the /etc/nsswitch.conf file and changed "netgroup nis"
to read "netgroup files nis"

I then ran :

share -F nfs -o rw=machine3:machine2:test /directory

Note that machine3 and machine 2 are specific machines and test is the
netgroup I just created.

no errors running share, then I try to mount the directory on machine1
and I cannot (note that I can when I specifically type machine 1 in the
share command).

What am I doing wrong? Does the netgroup file need to be turned into a
dbm file? if so, how and where should it reside. Remember, this
machine is an NIS client only! I don not have access to the NIS
master. My goal is to be able to creat my own netgroup locally and have
the system see that first then look to nis for the master netgroup list.

Thanks to all those who responded:


I have a set of machines all runnning Solaris 2.5.1. They are attached
to a corporate NIS domain which I do not have access to modify. Within
the corporate domain I have 5 machines plus a server which I need to
administer. TO make my life easier I would like to have these 5
machines as part of a netgroup so that when I share directories from the
server I don't have to type in each machine name every time. Knowing
that the actual netgroup file is a part of the main NIS domain and is
not a local ascii file, is there any way I can accomplish this task
without asking the NIS administrator to add a netgroup?

For example, As it stands now, I can use the corporate NIS to log into
any of the 5 machines (plus server). I need to share several server
directories for each of the 5 machines to mount. currently for each
directory I run:

share -F nfs -rw=machine1:machine2:machine3:machine4:machine5 /directory

I would much prefer to run something more like the following:

share -F nfs -rw=mymachines /directory
and have mymachines = machine[1-5]

Any luck? I figured I could get an answer faster thru this group than
I could get a new netgroup created in this organization.


I have developed netgroups to work on SunOS, Solaris, Digital
UNIX and Ultrix. The netgroup source file has to be included
into the source file directory path identified in the NIS
makefile. If the corporate NIS system is using netgroups, just
ask the administrator to include your machines as a netgroup.
It just means a few entries into the netgroup source file and
then running a make. If they don't use it, you can tell the
administrator that you will maintain the netgroup source file
for your machines(just a plain old ascii file with the proper
syntax. You can rcp or ftp it to him). Once the administrator
puts it in the right directory, the next time he/she runs a
make for the NIS system, you will automatically have your
netgroups installed.(Beware, if you take care of it, and others
see the convenience you hav given yourself, you make suddenly
be bombarded with users claiming to NEED netgroups, which means
more work for you!)

You can create a localfile /etc/netgroup in which you would define
the groups you want.
Then, you have to customize the /etc/nsswitch.conf in order that
the local files are searched first. You should have a line like
       netgroup: files nisplus
so it will look on the local files first.

If you are the SA for these systems, then you are also ROOT authorized.

If so, you can go to the /etc/nsswitch.conf file and tell it to use
"files" first, then NIS when evaluating a host name.

Then, you have full freedom to administer the local machines as
necessary without upsetting the rest of the domain outside your scope.

Check with the SA who supervises all the netgroups at your level
(probably the corporate SA) and ask if that would be OK.

Have them give you the tools and training you need to correctly
administer these machines, and show them they can trust you to keep the
things going for them.

They will very likely jump at the chance to offload daily domain
headaches to you, especially if there are bunches of local groups like

You could make your server an independent NIS master or you could make
your master a NIS slave server

Nope - the decision was made that since netgroup was new functionality
back in YP days that no ASCII file support would be provided. It is
silently enforced in nssswitch.conf as well. sigh.

The netgroup man page states that netgroups will only
work with NIS. I think you are out of luck.
Tim Carlson

Just change your nisswitch.conf file to read

netgroup: files nis

and then have an /etc/netgroup file on the local machine

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