SUMMARY: can't see secondary group

From: Cathy Smith (
Date: Mon Jul 13 1998 - 10:09:34 CDT


my apologies for this lateness of this summary. my ordinal posting described a
problem where i could not always see secondary groups for an account. that
posting is included at the end of this message.

i have not had the time to test the suggestions made. part of the problem
which i did not include in my original posting is that another group manages
the NIS domain here. so some of the suggestions i can not implement, for
example insuring that when updating the NIS maps that all maps are updated,
not specific ones. and since MIS moved the DNS/NIS server last weekend, who
knows if the problem will continue or be replaced with another weird one.

thomas anders did report that he had experienced the same problem and just
waiting seemed to clear up the problem. that has been my observation as well.

the suggestions to test included:
1. check if the netid map is updated and pushed.
2. execute make rather than update a specific map as weird things happen if
   all maps don't get updated and pushed.
3. check for the NIS tolken, +:, at the end of the /etc/group file.
   i had already done this.
4. check for blank lines in the /etc/group file.
   this was not a factor as the problem was observed on a machines with a fresh
   install from the Sun OS CD-rom and the /etc/group file was not modified
   except to add the NIS tolken.
5. check that the maps on the slave server are complete.
   i had already done this.

thanks to everyone who responded.

Russ Poffenberger <>
Vera.Barros <>
Daniel Lorenzini <>
Scott D. Yelich <>
Bismark Espinoza <bismark@alta.Jpl.Nasa.Gov>
Jay Lessert <>
Thomas Anders <>



original messages:
i have a situation where i can't always see a secondary
group for a particular user. this happens using any
of the commands: groups id or newgrp. we are using NIS.
the NIS maps have the correct information. the workstations
run Sun OS 4.1.3 and 4.1.4 and Solaris 2.5.1. the NIS
master runs Sun OS 4.1.3. Most of the NIS slave servers
run Sun OS. I configured 1 Solaris machine as a slave
server with NSKit so that I know that it is configured

sometimes the problem happens on a client, and the NIS server
shows the correct information, sometimes not. when i wrote
this summary, only the Solaris machines are giving the
correct information.

here are examples of the problem:

the user account lance has the following groups identified:
   primary: des_auto
   secondary: micropro, telecom

on the NIS client train_f4:
   train_f4# uname -a
   SunOS train_f4 4.1.4 5 sun4m

   train_f4# ypwhich

   train_f4# id
   uid=12371(lance) gid=4301(des_auto) groups=4301(des_auto),4300(micropro)

   train_f4# groups
   des_auto micropro

   train_f4# ypcat -k group | grep lance
   micropro micropro:*:4300:mholland,brucet,brox,iida,lance
   telecom telecom:*:4200:lance,cmartin

on the NIS slave server sunplot3:
   sunplot3# uname -a
   SunOS sunplot3 4.1.4 2 sun4m

   sunplot3# ypwhich

   sunplot3# groups lance
   lance : micropro des_auto

on the Solaris NIS slave server ecad4:
   ecad4# uname -a
   SunOS ecad4 5.5.1 Generic_103640-18 sun4u sparc SUNW,Ultra-4

   ecad4# ypwhich

   ecad4# groups lance
   des_auto micropro telecom

   ecad4# ypcat -k group | grep lance
   micropro micropro:*:4300:sandelin,jtwomey,mholland,brucet,brox,iida,lance
   telecom telecom:*:4200:cton,dmurphy,iida,snyder,lance,cmartin

on the NIS slave server sunplot1, which is bound to ecad4:
   sunplot1# uname -a
   SunOS sunplot1 4.1.3 2 sun4

   sunplot1# ypwhich

   sunplot1# groups lance
   lance : micropro des_auto

   sunplot1# ypcat -k group | grep lance
   micropro micropro:*:4300:sandelin,jtwomey,mholland,brucet,brox,iida,lance
   telecom telecom:*:4200:cton,dmurphy,iida,snyder,lance,cmartin

has anyone run into this sort of thing before? i don't know if this
is a patch problem, an NIS problem, or what.

thanks very much.


Cathy L. Smith
Dallas Semiconductor
Our policy is, when in doubt, do the right thing.
		-- Roy L. Ash, ex-president Litton Industries

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