System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (NIS+)

Specifying Maximum Number of Inactive Days for Users in NIS+

You can set a maximum number of days that a user can go without logging in on a given machine. Once that number of days passes without the user logging in, that machine will no longer allow that user to log in. In this situation, the user will receive a Login incorrect message after each login attempt.

This feature is tracked on a machine-by-machine basis, not a network-wide basis. That is, in an NIS+ environment, you specify the number of days a user can go without logging in by placing an entry for that user in the passwd table of the user's home domain. That number applies for that user on all machines on the network.

For example, suppose you specify a maximum inactivity period of 10 days for the user sam. On January 1, sam logs in to both machine-A and machine-B, and then logs off both machines. Four days later on January 4, sam logs in on machine-B and then logs out. Nine days after that on January 13, sam can still log in to machine-B because only 9 days have elapsed since the last time he logged in on that machine, but he can no longer log in to machine-A because thirteen days have passed since his last log in on that machine.

Keep in mind that an inactivity maximum cannot apply to a machine the user has never logged in to. No matter what inactivity maximum has been specified or how long it has been since the user has logged in to some other machine, the user can always log in to a machine that the user has never logged in to before.

Caution – Caution –

Do not set inactivity maximums unless your users are instructed to log out at the end of each workday. The inactivity feature only relates to logins; it does not check for any other type of system use. If a user logs in and then leaves the system up and running at the end of each day, that user will soon pass the inactivity maximum because there has been no login for many days. When that user finally does reboot or log out, he or she won't be able to log in.

Note –

If you have Solaris Management Console tools available, do not use nistbladm to set an inactivity maximum. Use Solaris Management Console tools because they are easier to use and provide less chance for error.

To set a login inactivity maximum, you must use the nistbladm command in the format:

nistbladm -m `shadow=n:n:n:n:n5:n:n' [name=login],passwd.org_dir


For example, to specify that the user sam must log in at least once every seven days, you would type:

station1% nistbladm -m `shadow=n:n:n:n:n:7:n:n' [name=sam],passwd.org_dir

To clear an inactivity maximum and allow a user who has been prevented from logging in to log in again, use nistbladm to set the inactivity value to -1.