pam_group vs. multiple group lines

Patrick M. Hausen hausen at
Wed Aug 22 01:28:43 PDT 2007

Hi, all!

On Wed, Aug 22, 2007 at 09:53:42AM +0200, Ulrich Spoerlein wrote:
> On 8/22/07, Chuck Swiger <cswiger at> wrote:
> > On Aug 21, 2007, at 2:02 PM, Richard Foulkes wrote:
> > > Ok, so how are you supposed to control membership of the wheel
> > > group via ldap? Ok, you COULD remove the local wheel entry in /etc/
> > > group, but this would probably be a bad idea if the ldap server
> > > were unavailable.
> >
> > You've aptly summarized my thoughts on the matter-- I would not rely
> > on LDAP to provide information about root or the wheel group.
> That is exactly the gist of my question. Of course I know that a group
> oneliner is the way to go. However, I saw people suggest splitting
> groups into multiple lines, if the lines are too long or too many
> groups per line (something to do with the /etc/group parser, I guess).
> Anyway, I want the LDAP groups to *augment* system groups. Removing
> wheel from /etc/group and relying on a complex network service ....
> not funny.

I've only followed this thread loosely, so I apologize if this has
already been stated or if I'm completely missing the point, but
here goes:

We do not use LDAP yet, but have been using NIS in our internal
office network for years. If you use the magic "+" token to merge
your NIS database with the static files for passwd and group
information, then

_if_ the group entry in the static file does not contain any users
_then_ the information from NIS is merged in

So you can keep a "wheel" group around as the _primary_ group
for root, toor, whatnot ... and all the additional members
that have "wheel" as an auxiliary group come from NIS.

Possibly this works for LDAP, too? IMHO at least it should ;-))

Kind regards,
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