System Administration Guide: Security Services

auth_attr Database

All authorizations are stored in the auth_attr database. Authorizations can be assigned to users, to roles, or to rights profiles. The preferred method is to place authorizations in a rights profile, to include the profile in a role's list of profiles, and then to assign the role to a user.

The fields in the auth_attr database are separated by colons, as follows:


The fields have the following meanings:


A unique character string that is used to identify the authorization in the format prefix.[suffix]. Authorizations for the Solaris OS use solaris as a prefix. All other authorizations should use a prefix that begins with the reverse-order Internet domain name of the organization that creates the authorization (for example, com.xyzcompany). The suffix indicates what is being authorized, which is typically the functional area and operation.

When the authname consists of a prefix and functional area and ends with a period, the authname serves as a heading to be used by applications in their GUIs. A two-part authname is not an actual authorization. The authname of solaris.printmgr. is an example of a heading.

When authname ends with the word “grant,” the authname serves as a grant authorization. A grant authorization enables the user to delegate to other users authorizations with the same prefix and functional area. The authname of solaris.printmgr.grant is an example of a grant authorization. solaris.printmgr.grant gives the user the right to delegate to other users such authorizations as solaris.printmgr.admin and solaris.printmgr.nobanner.


Reserved for future use.


A short name for the authorization. This short name is suitable for display in user interfaces, such as in a scrolling list in a GUI.


A long description. This field identifies the purpose of the authorization, the applications in which the authorization is used, and the type of user who might use the authorization. The long description can be displayed in the help text of an application.


An optional list of semicolon-separated (;) key-value pairs that describe the attributes of an authorization. Zero or more keys can be specified.

The keyword help identifies a help file in HTML. Help files can be accessed from the index.html file in the /usr/lib/help/auths/locale/C directory.

The following example shows an auth_attr database with some typical values:

% grep printer /etc/security/auth_attr 
solaris.admin.printer.:::Printer Information::help=AuthPrinterHeader.html
solaris.admin.printer.delete:::Delete Printer Information::help=AuthPrinterDelete.html
solaris.admin.printer.modify:::Update Printer Information::help=AuthPrinterModify.html Printer Information::help=AuthPrinterRead.html

Note that solaris.admin.printer. is defined as a heading, because the authorization name ends in a dot (.). Headings are used by the GUIs to organize families of authorizations.