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

NIS+ and NIS Compatibility Problems

This section describes problems having to do with NIS compatibility with NIS+ and earlier systems and the switch configuration file.

Common symptoms include:

Error messages with operative clauses include:

User Cannot Log In to NIS+ Domain After Password Change


New users, or users who recently changed their password are unable to log in at all, or able to log in on one or more machines but not on others.

The user may see error messages with operative clauses such as:

First Possible Cause:

Password was changed on NIS machine.

If a user or system administrator uses the passwd command to change a password on a Solaris system machine running NIS in a domain served by NIS+ namespace servers, the user's password is changed only in that machine's /etc/passwd file. If the user then goes to some other machine on the network, the user's new password will not be recognized by that machine. The user will have to use the old password stored in the NIS+ passwd table.


Check to see if the user's old password is still valid on another NIS+ machine.


Use passwd on a machine running NIS+ to change the user's password.

Second Possible Cause:

Password changes take time to propagate through the domain.


Namespace changes take a measurable amount of time to propagate through a domain and an entire system. This time might be as short as a few seconds or as long as many minutes, depending on the size of your domain and the number of replica servers.


You can simply wait the normal amount of time for a change to propagate through your domains. Or you can use the nisping org_dir command to resynchronize your system.

nsswitch.conf File Fails to Perform Correctly

A modified (or newly installed) nsswitch.conf file fails to work properly.


You install a new nsswitch.conf file or make changes to the existing file, but your system does not implement the changes.

Possible Cause:

Each time an nsswitch.conf file is installed or changed, you must reboot the machine for your changes to take effect. This is because nscd caches the nsswitch.conf file.


Check your nsswitch.conf file against the information contained in the nsswitch.conf man page. Correct the file if necessary, and then reboot the machine.