Edubuntu LTSP with Netware Authentication

Gavin McCullagh gmccullagh at
Thu Feb 22 22:54:51 UTC 2007

Hi Ben,

On Thu, 22 Feb 2007, Willis, Ben wrote:

> Im trying to understand the solution before I attempt it.
> With the NSS switch will it be doing an LDAP lookup on the account? I
> don't understand the flow exactly.

As I know there are probably others reading who know this better than me
I'll say that I'm not expert but the following is my understanding.

When any program looks for user accounts it does so via a system call.
Rather than looking straight at /etc/passwd, that file looks at whatever
it's told to use by /etc/nsswitch.conf.  So, you can configure the system
call to look at a sequence of databases, eg NIS, passwd file, etc. 

So, if you set up NIS and set NIS in the passwd section of nsswitch.conf,
that's moreorless equivalent to getting all the accounts on the NIS server
and copying the into your passwd file.  Equally, you can set up LDAP and
configure nsswitch.conf to add those accounts to the system.

To use ldap with nsswitch I suspect you need to install the libnss-ldap
package, set up ldap as explained in those articles so you can query the
database successfully and then tell nsswitch.conf that ldap should be
consulted for the passwd file.

Really though, I'm not at all expert at this so you'd be better off reading
those articles to get a better idea.


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