Following directions doesn't seem to work: Adding users in NIS

David Benfell benfell at
Mon Oct 15 11:54:06 PDT 2007

On Mon, 15 Oct 2007 10:54:45 -0400, Lowell Gilbert wrote:
> David Benfell <benfell at> writes:
> > Where are there working directions for adding users under NIS?
> >
> > The instructions in the FreeBSD handbook don't seem to result in
> > added users being propagated out to slaves.  And the failure is
> > silent, so I have no idea what I'm really supposed to be doing
> > to make this work.
> >
> > All I know is that added users end up in the main /etc/passwd
> > and /etc/master.passwd; the -Y option to pw seems to change nothing
> > other than to consume time "updating" (but I don't know what, since
> > the changes I'm looking for don't appear) various maps and "pushing"
> > the maps.
> >
> > And, having evidently done the *wrong* thing, how do I fix the
> > added users so they now appear in NIS?
> adduser(8) doesn't know anything about NIS.  I don't know any
> automated way of adding users to a NIS map, but my home network is
> small enough that I don't bother.
I was using pw, which claims to be able to update NIS via the -Y
option, but frankly, the behavior you describe seems to match its
behavior as well.

My network is also a home network, but the complications I get into
are nothing short of amazing.

> What you want to do is move the users' entries from master.passwd into
> your NIS master file, and rebuild the maps.  

Do I also need to modify the copy of passwd or is master.passwd the only
one that matters?

David Benfell, LCP
benfell at
Resume available at
NOTE: I sign all messages with GnuPG (0DD1D1E3).
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