NIS and mixing distros

Paul Howarth paul at
Thu Jul 28 07:39:25 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-07-27 at 22:08 -0400, Peter Arremann wrote:
> On Wednesday 27 July 2005 21:50, P Jones wrote:
> > Hi all;
> >
> > I have a Centos 4.1 server and three FC4 workstations in my little
> > network. I just started using NIS for authentication and NFS for /home
> > serving. For fun I did a quick Ubuntu install on one machine, and ran
> > into the wall when it came to differences between groups/GIDs. For
> > example, Debian has the audio group GID 29, and RH/FC has rpcusers at
> > 29, and RH/FC doesn't seem to have an audio group, so my Ubuntu
> > machine user couldn't get access to the sound card unless I granted
> > access using pam_group on the client. I like the idea of NOT having to
> > touch the client, just controlling access from the server.
> *nods* Yeah - good luck with that... We have it even worse - we got HP-UX, 
> Solaris, AIX and Linux in different versions everywhere... Most people wonder 
> why when they first log into their Linux box, their user ID shows up as 
> "games" :-D
> Anyway - the solution is easy... there is none. Either you mod the groups on 
> your client or you find another way to work around your issue...

We have RHL9, RHEL3, RHEL4, FC1, FC3, FC4, HP-UX and Solaris boxes at
$WORKPLACE all using the same NIS. The way we do it is to use NIS only
for regular user accounts, and we use UIDs >= 1000 for this. We use
separate files /etc/passwd.nis and /etc/group.nis on the NIS master
server (HP-UX) rather than its own /etc/passwd and /etc/group to create
the NIS databases. This is done by modifying the Makefile on the NIS
master server.

So each client uses its own UIDs for system accounts (< UID 1000) and
NIS for user accounts. Works fine.

Paul Howarth <paul at>

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