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I'm running a small network of 20 PC's (slackware), I had previously used NIS and can't really be bothered with ldap it's a bit of hassle. I do not need a centralised database just a login auth system.
I wanted to run this by you.
On the server I make a folder called /sec and symlink passwd, group and shadow into it.
I export this via nfs.
On the workstation I create a folder /sec, move the passwd, group and shadow file into it and then symlink them back into the /etc folder.
On bootup, the rc.local mounts server /sec over the top of workstation /sec. If it fails it falls back.
Any issue with this approach?
I wasn't sure if I could just mount /sec on the workstation and then temporarily symlink group,passwd,shadow over the top of the /etc/shadow etc.
So you have one common root password, so if one person finds that password on one, they instantly have it on all. What's more they could also instantly change every password for every account in the entire environment with nothing more than local machine access? If you're saying there are separate files for every machine then how do you prevent all files being accessible on all systems? If you're putting in per system config then that's possibly more work than doing it properly in the first place. Your passwords should not be being sent out to a remote site. That's one reason NIS itself is awful for authentication. If you take the password and give it out to a client then they have the password to do what they want with. Central authentication, e.g. ldap at a base level, means that the password never leaves the central machine and is so much more secure.
Security for this small network is basic, there is no major concern which is why I'm taking this approach.
I hard-linked the /etc/passwd, group, gshadow and shadow into /sec on the server and exported it read-only.
On the workstation I moved the same files into /sec, symlinked them into /etc and then mount the server /sec over the top.
This worked and I can login as root using server password. Also, the user accounts show up in gdm, however user passwords fail (even though they work on the server). Am I missing a file other than those four?