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AIX Version 4 Files Reference

netgroup File for NIS


Lists the groups of users on the network.


The /etc/netgroup file defines network-wide groups. This file is used for checking permissions when doing remote mounts, remote logins, and remote shells. For remote mounts, the information in the netgroup file is used to classify machines. For remote logins and remote shells, the file is used to classify users. Each line of the netgroup file defines a group and is formatted as follows:

Groupname Member1 Member2 ...

where Member is either another group name or consists of three entries as follows:

hostname, username, domainname

Any of these three fields can be empty, in which case it signifies a wild card. The universal ( , , ) field defines a group to which everyone belongs.

Field names that begin with something other than a letter, digit or underscore (such as -) work in precisely the opposite fashion. For example, consider the following entries:

justmachines   (analytica,-,ibm)
justpeople   (-,babbage,ibm)

The machine analytica belongs to the group justmachines in the domain ibm , but no users belong to it. Similarly, the user babbage belongs to the group justpeople in the domain ibm , but no machines belong to it.

A gateway machine should be listed under all possible host names by which it may be recognized:

wan (gateway , , ) (gateway-ebb , , )

The domainname field refers to the domain n in which the triple is valid, not the name containing the trusted host.


The following is an excerpt from a netgroup file:

machines  (venus, -, star)
(-, bob, star)

In this example, the machine named venus belongs to the group machines in the star domain. Similarly, the user bob belongs to the group people in the star domain.

Implementation Specifics

This file is part of NFS in Network Support Facilities in Base Operating System (BOS) Runtime.


/etc/netgroup Specifies the path of the file.

Related Information

The makedbm command.

The ypserv daemon.

Mounting an NFS File System Explicitly, Network File System Overview, and Network Information Service Overview in AIX Version 4.3 System Management Guide: Communications and Networks.

List of NIS Programming References in AIX Version 4.3 System Management Guide: Communications and Networks.
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