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 credentials for NIS+
principals. NIS+ credentials serve two purposes. The first is to
provide authentication information to various services; the second is
to map the authentication service name into an 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. 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) can also be
used to add credentials for entries in the hosts and the passwd NIS+
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(3N), and nis_groups(3N). Various other
services can also implement access control based on these principal
The cred.org_dir table is organized as follows :
cname auth_type auth_name public_data private_data
fred.foo.com. LOCAL 2990 10,102,44
fred.foo.com. DES unix.2990ATfoo.com 098...819 3b8...ab2
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(1) command executed on that host.
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There are two 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.
Entries of type LOCAL are used by the NIS+ service to determine the
correspondence between fully qualified NIS+ principal names and users
identified by UIDs in the domain containing the cred.org_dir table.
This correspondence is required when associating requests made using
the AUTH_SYS RPC authentication flavor (see rpc_clnt_auth(3N)) to an
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 credentials 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
The DES auth_type is used for Secure RPC authentication (see
The authentication name associated with the DES auth_type is a Secure
RPC netname. A Secure RPC netname has the form unix.id@domain, 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 information in this entry
is the private key of the principal encrypted by the principal's
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
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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. An 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 table.
If credentials are being added for the caller itself, nisaddcred
automatically performs a keylogin for the caller.
-p principal Use the principal name principal to fill the auth_name
field for this entry. For LOCAL credentials, the name
supplied with this option should be a string specifying
a UID. For DES credentials, the name should be a
Secure RPC netname of the form unix.id@domain, as
described earlier. If the -p option is not specified,
the auth_name field is constructed from the effective
UID of the current process and the name of the local
Use the NIS+ principal name nis_principal. This option
should be used when creating LOCAL credentials for
users whose home domain is different from 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
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it also checks to make sure you have not made any
mistakes. NOTE: login_password does not really HAVE to
be the user's password, but if it is, it simplifies
-r [ nis_principal ]
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 executed
in the default NIS+ domain.
This command returns 0 on success and 1 on failure.
Add a LOCAL entry with a UID 2970 for the NIS+ principal name
nisaddcred -p 2970 -P fredw.some.domain. local
Note that credentials are always added in the cred.org_dir table in
the domain where nisaddcred is run, unless domainname is specified as
the last parameter on the command line. If credentials are being
added from the domain server for its clients, then domainname should
be specified. 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:
nisaddcred -p firstname.lastname@example.org \
-P fredw.some.domain. des
Here, 2970 is the UID assigned to the user, fredw. some.domain comes
from the user's home domain, and fredw comes from the password file.
Note that DES credentials can be added only after the LOCAL
credentials have been added.
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
Add a machine's DES credentials in the same domain:
nisaddcred -p email@example.com \
-P foo.some.domain. des
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Note that no LOCAL credentials are needed in this case.
Add a LOCAL entry with the UID of the current user and the NIS+
principal name of tony.some.other.domain:
nisaddcred -P tony.some.other.domain. local
You can list the cred entries for a particular principal with
nisaddcred was developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.
chkey(1), keylogin(1), nis+(1), nischmod(1), nischown(1), nismatch(1),
nistbladm(1), nisclient(1M), nispopulate(1M), nis_local_names(3N),
rpc_clnt_auth(3N), secure_rpc(3N), nis_objects(3N), nis_groups(3N).
The cred.org_dir NIS+ table replaces the maps publickey.byname and
netid.byname used in NIS (YP).
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