Networking overview

Distributed user management

In a distributed environment, user account management can quickly become complicated if the network administrator must keep account information synchronized on all the networked machines where a given user has access. Your SCO OpenServer Desktop or Enterprise system provides the following services to facilitate network user account management:

NIS (Network Information Service)

NIS designates a single server as ``master'' of files and databases containing system administration information and distributes this information to all systems in an NIS ``domain''. Among the files distributed by default are /etc/passwd and /etc/group; user and group accounts managed by NIS are called distributed accounts. NIS also provides a means to exempt accounts from distributed management, so they are local to a given machine; such accounts are called local accounts. For more information, see ``Administering NIS users and groups''.

automount in conjunction with NIS

Although NIS-distributed accounts allow users to log in to any machine in an NIS domain, they must have a home directory on each of those machines. However, the automount facility can be figured to automatically NFS-mount their home directory wherever they log in. For more information, see ``Distributing home directories''.

SCOadmin Account Manager

The SCOadmin Account Manager provides a convenient, interactive way to perform most administrative tasks on both distributed and local accounts. See ``The Account Manager interface''.


You can use the useradd(ADM) command to add, modify, and delete remote account information from the command line or in batch jobs.

NOTE: When NIS is configured, the SCOadmin Account Manager and the useradd command may be run remotely on the NIS master server or from NIS client machines if the administrator has auth privileges.

Administering distributed user accounts

Common administrative tasks associated with distributed user accounts include:

NOTE: The use of NIS entails special security considerations; see ``NIS interaction with security modes'' for more information.

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© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003