Is it possible to use centralized passwords with cygwin inetd?

Andrew DeFaria
Fri Dec 6 13:20:00 GMT 2002

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Bruce P. Osler wrote:

> For starters - I'd like to contribute to the Cygwin love-fest going
> on.  I think Cygwin is an awesome environment with huge benefits
> for folks working under windows.
> Today I'm interested in finding out wether I can use networked
> password services with the cygwin inetd.  At work I would like to
> setup a series of computers with Cygwin tools all of which are
> running the Cygwin inetd.  As there are a couple of hundred engineers
> in this environment the option of maintaining multiple /etc/passwd
> files is a bit onerous (if not unreasonable).  All of these computers
> are already hooked into an environment where the user passwords are
> provided and managed centrally to an NT domain.  Is there any way
> I can have Cygwin/inetd use the central domain password service
> for authentication?

Short answer: Yes.

Slightly longer answer: Create a passwd file with mkpasswd -d and store 
it on a common area. Then symlink /etc/passwd -> 
//<commonserver>/<commonshare>/passwd. Normally people worry about 
symlinking such files as /etc/passwd because it would be hard to boot up 
and log into the machine if the network were down. But you don't boot up 
nor log into Cygwin as per se, rather you log into Windows first.

You might wish to do this for /etc/group too.

You might wish to scriptize mkpasswd to call /bin/mkpasswd then perform 
some fix ups on the resulting passwd file before making it global.

You might wish to develop a script to insure the above symlink(s) are 
properly in place as well as say mounting //<commonserver>/<homeshare> 
-> /home, etc.

This is what I do and it works very well.

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