nisaddcred - create NIS+ credentials
nisaddcred [-p principal] [-P nis_principal] [-
l login_password] auth_type [domain_name]
nisaddcred -r [nis_principal] [domain_name]
The nisaddcred command is used to create security creden-
tials for NIS+ principals. NIS+ credentials serve two pur-
poses. The first is to provide authentication information to
various services; the second is to map the authentication
service name into a NIS+ principal name.
When the nisaddcred command is run, these credentials get
created and stored in a table named cred.org_dir in the
default NIS+ domain. If domain_name is specified, the
entries are stored in the cred.org_dir of the specified
domain. The specified domain must either be the one to which
you belong, or one in which you are authenticated and
authorized to create credentials, that is, a subdomain. Note
that the credentials of normal users must be stored in the
same domain as their passwords.
It is simpler to add credentials using nisclient(1M),
because it obtains the required information itself.
nispopulate(1M) is used for "bulk" updates and can also be
used to add credentials for entries in the hosts and the
passwd NIS+ tables.
NIS+ principal names are used in specifying clients that
have access rights to NIS+ objects. For more details, refer
to the "Principal Names" subsection of the nis+(1) manual
page. See nischmod(1), nischown(1), nis_objects(3NSL), and
nis_groups(3NSL). Various other services can also implement
access control based on these principal names.
The cred.org_dir table is organized as follows:
cname auth_type auth_name public_data private_data
user1.foo.com. LOCAL 2990 10,102,44
user1.foo.com. DES email@example.com 098...819 3b8...ab2
user1.foo.com. DHmmm-n firstname.lastname@example.org 248...428 a42...f32
The cname column contains a canonical representation of the
NIS+ principal name. By convention, this name is the login
name of a user, or the host name of a machine, followed by a
dot ('.') followed by the fully qualified "home" domain of
that principal. For users, the home domain is defined to be
the domain where their DES credentials are kept. For hosts,
their home domain is defined to be the domain name returned
by the domainname(1M) command executed on that host.
There are two basic types of auth_type entries in the
cred.org_dir table, those with authentication type LOCAL,
and those with authentication type DES, auth_type, specified
on the command line in upper or lower case, should be either
local or des.
However, the cred.org_dir table may also be used to hold
data for other values of auth_type. Currently, this is lim-
ited to the mechanisms listed on the nisauthconf(1M) man
page, for which the nisaddcred auth_type argument is the
same as the name of the mechanism. These mechanisms use a
modified form of Secure RPC, and they are similar to the
DES authentication type.
If the auth_type is des, and other authentication mechan-
isms are configured with nisauthconf(1M), then credential
entries are added or updated for each mechanism configured.
To only add or update 1992-bit Diffie Hellman credentials,
that is, those with the auth_type of DES, use dh192-0 on
the command line. If there are no authentication mechanisms
configured, using des on the command line will only add or
update 192-bit Diffie Hellman credentials.
Entries of type LOCAL are used by the NIS+ service to deter-
mine the correspondence between fully qualified NIS+ princi-
pal names and users identified by UIDs in the domain con-
taining the cred.org_dir table. This correspondence is
required when associating requests made using the AUTH_SYS
RPC authentication flavor (see rpc_clnt_auth(3NSL)) to a
NIS+ principal name. It is also required for mapping a UID
in one domain to its fully qualified NIS+ principal name
whose home domain may be elsewhere. The principal's creden-
tials for any authentication flavor may then be sought for
within the cred.org_dir table in the principal's home domain
(extracted from the principal name). The same NIS+ principal
may have LOCAL credential entries in more than one domain.
Only users, and not machines, have LOCAL credentials. In
their home domain, users of NIS+ should have both types of
The auth_name associated with the LOCAL type entry is a UID
that is valid for the principal in the domain containing the
cred.org_dir table. This may differ from that in the
principal's home domain. The public information stored in
public_data for this type contains a list of GIDs for
groups in which the user is a member. The GIDs also apply to
the domain in which the table resides. There is no private
data associated with this type. Neither a UID nor a
principal name should appear more than once among the LOCAL
entries in any one cred.org_dir table.
The DES auth_type is used for Secure RPC authentication
The authentication name associated with the DES auth_type is
a Secure RPC netname. A Secure RPC netname has the form
email@example.com, where domain must be the same as the
domain of the principal. For principals that are users the
id must be the UID of the principal in the principal's home
domain. For principals that are hosts, the id is the host's
name. In Secure RPC, processes running under effective UID 0
(root) are identified with the host principal. Unlike LOCAL,
there cannot be more than one DES credential entry for one
NIS+ principal in the NIS+ namespace.
The public information in an entry of authentication type
DES is the public key for the principal. The private infor-
mation in this entry is the private key of the principal
encrypted by the principal's network password.
User clients of NIS+ should have credentials of both types
in their home domain. In addition, a principal must have a
LOCAL entry in the cred.org_dir table of each domain from
which the principal wishes to make authenticated requests. A
client of NIS+ that makes a request from a domain in which
it does not have a LOCAL entry will be unable to acquire DES
credentials. A NIS+ service running at security level 2 or
higher will consider such users unauthenticated and assign
them the name nobody for determining access rights.
This command can only be run by those NIS+ principals who
are authorized to add or delete the entries in the cred
If credentials are being added for the caller itself,
nisaddcred automatically performs a keylogin for the caller.
You can list the cred entries for a particular principal
The cred.org_dir NIS+ table replaces the maps
publickey.byname and netid.byname used in NIS (YP).
The following options are supported:
The name principal specifies the name of the principal
as defined by the naming rules for that specific
mechanism. For example, LOCAL credential names are
supplied with this option by including a string
specifying a UID. For DES credentials, the name
should be a Secure RPC netname of the form
firstname.lastname@example.org, as described earlier. If the -p
option is not specified, the auth_name field is con-
structed from the effective UID of the current process
and the name of the local domain.
Use the NIS+ principal name nis_principal. This option
should be used when creating LOCAL or DES credentials
for users whose home domain is different than the
local machine's default domain.
Whenever the -P option is not specified, nisaddcred
constructs a principal name for the entry as follows.
When it is not creating an entry of type LOCAL,
nisaddcred calls nis_local_principal, which looks for
an existing LOCAL entry for the effective UID of the
current process in the cred.org_dir table and uses the
associated principal name for the new entry. When
creating an entry of authentication type LOCAL,
nisaddcred constructs a default NIS+ principal name by
taking the login name of the effective UID for its own
process, and appending to it a dot ('.') followed by
the local machine's default domain. If the caller is a
superuser, the machine name is used instead of the
Use the login_password specified as the password to
encrypt the secret key for the credential entry. This
overrides the prompting for a password from the shell.
This option is intended for administration scripts
only. Prompting guarantees not only that no one can
see your password on the command line using ps(1) but
it also checks to make sure you have not made any mis-
takes. login_password does not really have to be the
user's password but if it is, it simplifies logging
Remove all credentials associated with the principal
nis_principal from the cred.org_dir table. This option
can be used when removing a client or user from the
system. If nis_principal is not specified the default
is to remove credentials for the current user. If
domain_name is not specified, the operation is exe-
cuted in the default NIS+ domain.
Example 1: Adding the LOCAL and DES Credentials
The following examples illustrate how to add the LOCAL and
DES credentials for some user, user1, with a UID of 2990,
who is an NIS+ user principal in the some.domain.com. NIS+
example% nisaddcred -p 2990 -P user1.some.domain.com. local
Note that credentials are always added in the cred.org_dir
table in the domain where nisaddcred is run, unless
domain_name is specified as the last parameter on the com-
mand line. If credentials are being added from the domain
server for its clients, then domain_name should be speci-
fied. The caller should have adequate permissions to create
entries in the cred.org_dir table.
The system administrator can add a DES credential for the
same user, using the following example:
example% nisaddcred -p email@example.com -P user1.some.domain.com. des
Please note that DES credentials can be added only after the
LOCAL credentials have been added. Also, if the system is
configured to use more than one authentication mechanism,
credentials will be made for each mechanism configured. See
Note that the secure RPC netname does not end with a dot
('.') while the NIS+ principal name, specified with the -P
option, does. This command should be executed from a machine
in the same domain as is the user.
The following example shows how to add a machine's DES
credentials in the same domain:
example% nisaddcred -p firstname.lastname@example.org -P foo.some.domain.com. des
Please note that no LOCAL credentials are needed in this
The following example illustrates how to add a NIS+
workstation's principal DES credential:
example% nisaddcred -p email@example.com \
-P newhost.sub.some.domain.com. des sub.some.domain.com.
This format is particularly useful if you are running this
command from a server which is in a higher domain than
sub.some.domain.com. Without the last option for domain
name, nisaddcred would fail because it would attempt to use
the default domain of some.domain.com.
The following example illustrates adding DES credentials
without being prompted for the root login password:
example% nisaddcred -p firstname.lastname@example.org \
-P user1.some.domain.com. -l login_password des
The following example shows how to add a credential for a
user using a specific authentication mechanism that was
previously configured with nisauthconf(1M). See
nisauthconf(1M) for a list of the valid values of auth_type:
example% nisaddcred -p email@example.com \
-P user.1.some.domain.com dh640-0
The password should be the same for all the credentials
that belong to the user. Otherwise, only the credentials
encrypted with the user's password will be used at login,
and the user will have to run chkey(1) using the -p option.
The following example shows how to add a DES credential when
other authentication mechanisms are configured on the sys-
example% nisaddcred -p firstname.lastname@example.org \
-P user1.some.domain.com dh192-0
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful operation.
1 Operation failed.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWnisu |
chkey(1), keylogin(1), nis+(1), nischmod(1), nischown(1),
nismatch(1), nistbladm(1), ps(1), domainname(1M),
nisclient(1M), nispopulate(1M), nis_groups(3NSL),
rpc_clnt_auth(3NSL), secure_rpc(3NSL), attributes(5)
NIS+ might not be supported in future releases of the
SolarisTM Operating Environment. Tools to aid the migration
from NIS+ to LDAP are available in the Solaris 9 operating
environment. For more information, visit
Man(1) output converted with