One user database for multiple systems - how?

Dan Egli ddavidegli at
Mon May 4 04:50:24 MDT 2015

I know it can be done, but I must admit that this is the first time I've
ever encountered a situation where it would be advantageous to have one
user database on multiple Linux systems. Because of this, I have absolutely
no idea how to go about ensuring this. Anyone have good tips for a novice
in this area?

Basically, I want to be able to execute useradd/whatever on the workstation
(if possible, if not on the sever is okay), have it update a central user
db location, and then be able to login to the workstation normally. The
user's /home directory would be on the server and nfs mounted to each

If possible, I'd really prefer that the shell for workstations be set to
whatever useradd uses (i.e. default to bash unless other shell specified,
then use that instead), but on the server the shell is ALWAYS set to
/sbin/nologin. I have to have the user account existing on the server
because the server will hosting a lot of files (not just /home, but other
files in other directories too), and will be making those files available
not just via nfs but via Samba too. Last I saw, smbpasswd wouldn't add a
user to the smbpasswd file unless they already existed in the system user
database. Now if there's a way around THAT, then sweet, please let me know.
But the user must at the very least exist on a user database that each
workstation can access, and exist in /etc/samba/smbpasswd so that they can
establish samba connections.

I was thinking I might just go for NIS+ or something, but I have absolutely
NO idea how to set anything like that up. So any tips are most welcome. The
solution I have now works, but is a MAJOR kludge. I'd really like to
streamline this process!

--- Dan

More information about the PLUG mailing list