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Network Information Services (NIS and NIS+) Guide

Troubleshooting NIS Compatibility Problems

This section describes compatibility problems between NIS and NIS+. Typically, the key symptom is that the /etc/irs.conf file fails to perform correctly.

Error messages display that contain operative clauses such as:

"Unknown user"

"Permission denied"

"Invalid principal name"

User Cannot Log In After Password Change

New users, or users who recently changed their password cannot log in at all, or cannot log in on one or more machines but not on others. The user may see error messages with operative clauses such as:

"Unknown user: username"

"Permission denied"

"Invalid principal name"

Usually, the cause is that the user's password was changed on an NIS machine. If a user or system administrator uses the yppasswd command to change a password on a NIS machine running NIS in a domain served by NIS+ namespace servers, the user's password is changed only in that machine's /etc/passwd file. If the user then goes to some other machine on the network, the user's new password will not be recognized by that machine. The user will have to use the old password stored in the NIS+ passwd table.

To diagnose this problem, check whether the user's old password is still valid on another NIS+ machine. If so, use passwd on a machine running NIS+ to change the user's password.

Another possible cause is that namespace changes (including password changes) take a measurable amount of time to propagate through a domain and an entire system. This time might be as short as a few seconds or as long as many minutes, depending on the size of your domain and the number of replica servers.

You can solve this problem simply by waiting for the change to propagate through your domains. Alternatively, you can use the nisping org_dir command to resynchronize your system.

/etc/irs.conf File Fails to Perform Correctly

A modified (or newly installed) /etc/irs.conf file can fail to work correctly, which shows up when your system does not implement a new install or change.

Each time the /etc/irs.conf file is installed or changed, you must reboot the machine for your changes to take effect.

Check your /etc/irs.conf file against the information contained in the /etc/irs.conf file description. Correct the file if necessary, then reboot the machine.

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