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|System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (NIS+)|
The passwd table contains information about the accounts of users in a domain. These users generally are, but do not have to be, NIS+ principals. Remember though, that if they are NIS+ principals, their credentials are not stored here, but in the domain's cred table. The passwd table usually grants read permission to the world (or to nobody).
Note - The passwd table should not have an entry for the user root (user ID 0). Root's password information should be stored and maintained in the machine's /etc files.
The information in the passwd table is added when users' accounts are created.
The passwd table contains the following columns.
Table 23-12 passwd Table
Table 23-13 passwd Table Shadow Column
Earlier Solaris releases used a +/- syntax in local /etc/passwd files to incorporate or overwrite entries in the NIS password maps. Since the Solaris 2x release uses the name service switch file to specify a machine's sources of information, this is no longer necessary. All you have to do in Solaris Release 2x systems is edit a client's /etc/nsswitch.conf file to specify files, followed by nisplus as the sources for the passwd information. This effectively adds the contents of the passwd table to the contents of the /etc/passwd file.
However, if you still want to use the +/- method, edit the client's nsswitch.conf file to add compat as the passwd source if you are using NIS. If you are using NIS+, add passwd_compat: nisplus.