ADDITIONAL SUMMARY:Finger mechanism & problem

From: Robert Glover (
Date: Wed Sep 09 1998 - 23:11:45 CDT

Following my posting of a summary this morning I received replies from:-
Jon Nielsen <> and
David Evans <>
both of whom suggested that the problem lay with a corrupted NIS+ password
table. I went through the password table carefully and indeed found an
entry where the name field was missing. I managed to delete the entry
using the uid field (nistbladm -r uid=12933 passwd.org_dir) and voila!! now
the finger command works for everybody and the application finds all of the
Many thanks to John and David for their replies.

Is anybody able to point me in the right direction to solve this problem?
System SparcServer 1000E Solaris 2.4 I have about 6000 users in a NIS+
environment. They can all log in without problems and can all be displayed
using the niscat command. However the command :- finger username does
not work for all users. For more than 90% of users it return the correct
information but for the rest it returns:- Login name username In
real life: ??? I have been unable to discover any difference between the NIS+
table entries for the users who display correctly and those who do not. The
nsswitch.conf entry for passwd is :- files nisplus This is effecting one of
our applications which apparently uses a similar method to authenticate users.
The people for whom finger username does not work are unable to to log in to
the application. (Knowledge Engineering Texpress) Does finger username use one
of the getpwnam or getpwuid system calls and if so what could cause some of
the users to return a null value? I have looked on Sunsolve but can't find a
similar situation. Will summarise. Regards Rob

Rob Glover
Unix System Administrator
Western Australian Police Service
Phone +61 8 9222 1733
Fax +61 8 9222 1698

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