SUMMARY:Unable to login without /etc/hosts entry.

From: Dan S. Freedman (
Date: Fri Feb 28 1997 - 13:55:51 CST

Original Question:
>Does anyone have any ideas why users cannot login (via telnet) unless there
>is a entry in the /etc/hosts file with their IP address? They are
>attempting to login to a SparcServer1000 running Solaris 2.4. They appear
>to connect, but never get a login prompt. We have 2 Sparc20s running
>Solaris 2.4 that do not exhibit this behavior.
>I have tried the man pages and the FAQ to no avail. I have also tried
>putting only the network part of the IP address (subnet) in the file - no luck.
>At one point the 1000 machine was an NIS client (running Solaris 2.3). It is
>currently not running NIS, NIS+, or DNS.
>I'm sure the answer is pretty simple, but I have not been able to find any
>info on it. I've had to hardcode IP addresses in a few PC's (they normally
>get them from DHCP) just so they can be referenced in the /etc/hosts file
>for telnet. For other users, I have them telnet to one of the Sparc20s and
>then to the 1000. I'd like to tidy this up if possible.
>Thanks for any help.
>Dan Freedman
The winning suggestion was made by ... Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM>
who said to check my nsswitch.conf file. Sure enough: my line read
hosts: nis [NOTFOUND=return] files dns

I switched it to :
hosts: files nis [NOTFOUND=return] dns

This seems to fix the problem. Surprisingly about 5 or 6 responses felt
that you had to have a line in the /etc/hosts file or be runnning DNS, NIS,
or NIS+ in order to use telnet. For incoming telnets this is definitely not
the case. For outgoing, it seems you only need (hosts,nis,dns,nis+) if you
want to use a logical name instead of the actual IP address.

I should have caught the problem. This is the 2nd time I've been bitten by
that dadgum nsswitch.conf file! Thanks for the responses.

Dan Freedman

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