User management

User management

Post by James W. Blackwe » Mon, 02 Mar 1998 04:00:00


I'm looking for a way to track information about users and to
automatically update the passwd files on two Red Hat 5 boxes based on
this data.

We give web space and e-mail accounts to school districts in the area
and need a way to keep track of which users are from which district,
what kind of an account they have, etc.  We also need to be able to
import a large number of users based on a text file containing the
details of each account.

I have looked at packages for ISP's, but we really don't need anything
like that.  All of our clients are on LANs connected the the Internet,
so we don't need to track time online, etc.  We just don't want to
have to manually enter, delete, or modify large groups of users.

If something like this doesn't exist, I can probably write something
that would do it, but I'm having trouble with the password.  I can
read each line of the import file, parse it, and fill in the blanks in
the passwd file, but what do I do about the password field?  We are
using shadow passwords.  Is there a way I can just call the change
password command and pass the input (both times) to it?

I plan on using a database package to keep track of the additional
fields I need and generating the import file based on changes made to
this database to perform whatever functions that need to happen.

Any help on getting started would be greatly appreciated.  



1. NIS+ user management [Was: Re: root changing a user's password (NIS)]

And Solaris 2 removed `passwd -f <filename>'; the "-f" option now
means "force password change at next login".

                                  .  What other ways are there that are safer?

Good question.  I haven't used Solaris 2 at a large site long enough
for it to be much of an issue.  When necessary, I've just done as you
and edited the file by hand (using Emacs, which when saving at least
gives warning if the file's been changed).  Several years ago at Sun,
I recall there being a `viyp' utility for editing NIS files.  Maybe
they made it publically available.  I think it's harder to enforce
such a utility's use than it is to write one. ;-)

On a related note -- what is the recommended/approved/best way to add
new users and remove ex-users to/from NIS+ ??  One would hope `useradd'
could do it -- nope.  The NIS+ utilities `nis{addent,populate}' are
tailored towards adding to NIS+ tables from ASCII files or NIS maps
rather than dealing with a single "user" entry.  And using plain
`nistbladm' and `nisaddcred' options is crude and error-prone.

I've searched to no avail for some "cookbook" method of handling NIS+
user management.  My old NIS+ book was useless for that issue.  Maybe
I just have a blind spot.  Any suggestions would be appreciated...


Scott J. Kramer                         Graham Technology Solutions
Sr. UNIX Systems Administrator          20823 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 300                 +1.408.366.8001

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