SUMMARY: Netgroups without NIS

From: Roy McDougall (
Date: Wed Jan 27 1993 - 10:58:21 CST

Thanks to all who responded. The replies still seem to be coming in.

My original questions:

1. What is the present limit on the number of hosts which may be exported to?
I recall that a couple of SunOS releases ago, it was something like 10 hosts
for root access (or the world if you exceeded 10 :-().
2. Netgroups only work if you are running NIS. Is it possible to somehow get
exportfs to recognise entries in /etc/netgroup without running NIS?
3. What are the caveats in using NIS to just provide support for netgroups?
If we do this, would we be as well using NIS to handle password files etc.

1. From glenn@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM (Glenn Satchell), so I presume it's reasonably

  It is not a fixed number of hosts, but a fixed line length of 256
  characters. This is increased in patch 100296-04 for SunOS 4.1.1,
  4.1.2, 4.1.3. I think it is unlimited with the patch. Note that you
  can't use a netgroup for giving root access - you have to least each
  host individually. You can get patches by sending mail to the Sun
  Australia Answer Centre -

Other sites reported successfully exporting to lots (over 400 in one case, but
they didn't say whether that was using netgroups or not) of hosts.

2. It is true - netgroups, without some effort, only work through NIS. To use
netgroups without NIS requires modifying libc by replacing getnetgrent(). (Marc Phillips) supplied the patches and procedure for
However, it looks like we may now run with NIS, so this might not be an issue
for us any more.

3. Comments ranged from "yes you can just use netgroups" to "you might as well
get NIS to do the lot". Comments about NIS itself ranged from "once you've
used NIS you'll wonder how you did without it" to "We use NIS here for almost
everything and hate it". Simon Coppins <>
suggested that a BIND/Hesiod combination for non-local maps might be the way
to go.

There were some really useful suggestions, like RTFM :-(

Responders: (Tim Evans)
Christian Lawrence <> (David Willard) (Peter Sivo) (Joel Shandelman)
stern@sunne.East.Sun.COM (Hal Stern - NE Area Systems Engineer) (Ed Arnold)
wallen@cogsci.UCSD.EDU (Mark R. Wallen)
glenn@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM (Glenn Satchell)
lister@sunaus.Aus.Sun.COM (Andrew Lister)
Simon Coppins <> (Marc Phillips)

Roy McDougall
Disc. of Computer Science IN:
School of Information Science &
Flinders University of S.A.
Bedford Park 5042 Ph: +61 8 201 2851
South Australia Fax: +61 8 201 3626

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