System Administration Guide: IP Services

nsswitch.conf File

The /etc/nsswitch.conf file defines the search order of the network databases. The Oracle Solaris installation program creates a default /etc/nsswitch.conf file for the local system, based on the name service you indicate during the installation process. If you selected the “None” option, indicating local files for name service, the resulting nsswitch.conf file resembles the following example.

Example 10–5 nsswitch.conf for Networks Using Files for Name Service

# /etc/nsswitch.files:
# An example file that could be copied over to /etc/nsswitch.conf;
# it does not use any naming service.
# "hosts:" and "services:" in this file are used only if the
# /etc/netconfig file contains "" as a
# nametoaddr library for "inet" transports.

passwd:          files
group:           files
hosts:           files
networks:        files
protocols:       files
rpc:             files
ethers:          files
netmasks:        files
bootparams:      files
publickey:       files
# At present there isn't a 'files' backend for netgroup; the
# system will figure it out pretty quickly,
# and won't use netgroups at all.
netgroup:        files
automount:       files
aliases:         files
services:        files
sendmailvars:    files

The nsswitch.conf(4) man page describes the file in detail. The basic syntax is shown here:

database name-service-to-search

The database field can list one of many types of databases that are searched by the operating system. For example, the field could indicate a database that affects users, such as passwd or aliases, or a network database. The parameter name-service-to-search can have the values files , nis, or nis+ for the network databases. The hosts database can also have dns as a name service to search. You can also list more than one name service, such as nis+ and files.

In Example 10–5, the only search option that is indicated is files. Therefore, the local system obtains security and automounting information, in addition to network database information, from files that are located in its /etc and /etc/inet directories.

Changing nsswitch.conf

The /etc directory contains the nsswitch.conf file that is created by the Oracle Solaris installation program. This directory also contains template files for the following name services:

If you want to change from one name service to another name service, you can copy the appropriate template to nsswitch.conf. You can also selectively edit the nsswitch.conf file, and change the default name service to search for individual databases.

For example, on a network that runs NIS, you might have to change the nsswitch.conf file on network clients. The search path for the bootparams and ethers databases must list files as the first option, and then nis. The following example shows the correct search paths.

Example 10–6 nsswitch.conf for a Client on a Network Running NIS

# /etc/nsswitch.conf:#
passwd:        files nis
group:         files nis

# consult /etc "files" only if nis is down.
hosts:         nis    [NOTFOUND=return] files
networks:      nis    [NOTFOUND=return] files
protocols:     nis    [NOTFOUND=return] files
rpc:           nis    [NOTFOUND=return] files
ethers:        files  [NOTFOUND=return] nis
netmasks:      nis    [NOTFOUND=return] files	
bootparams:    files  [NOTFOUND=return] nis
publickey:     nis    
netgroup:      nis

automount:     files nis
aliases:       files nis

# for efficient getservbyname() avoid nis
services:      files nis
sendmailvars:  files

For complete details on the name service switch, refer to System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP).