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System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP)
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The Switch File and Password Information

It is possible to include and access password information in multiple repositories, such as files and nisplus. You can use the nsswitch.conf file to establish the lookup order for that information.


Caution - files must be the first source in the nsswitch.conf file for passwd information.


In an NIS+ environment, the passwd line of the nsswitch.conf file should list the repositories in the following order.

passwd: files nisplus

In an NIS environment, the passwd line of the nsswitch.conf file should list the repositories in the following order.

passwd: files nis

Tip - Listing files first allows root to log in, under most circumstances, even when the system encounters some network or naming services issues.


Maintaining multiple repositories for the same user is not recommended. By maintaining centralized password management in a single repository for each user, you reduce the possibilities of confusion and error. If you choose to maintain multiple repositories per user, update password information by using the passwd -r command.

passwd -r repository

If no repository is specified with the -r option, passwd updates the repositories listed in nsswitch.conf in reverse order.

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