managing user accounts without NIS

Tom Haynes thomas at
Sun May 21 16:40:20 PDT 2000

> > Use rsync in a cron job that runs every minute.
> I have considered this, but the problem I see is that if a user
> changes his password on one node, and the cron job is running on
> another node, the cron job will effectively undo the password change
> by overwriting the shadow file on the user's node.  How do I get
> around this without restricting password changes to a single node?
> Victor

You do not.

Look at your problem, you want any user to be able to update a locally
cached copy of the password file.  When a write is made to the cache,
you want to force a write to all other cached copies.

What happens when two users change their passwords on different
nodes at exactly the same time?  Even better, what if the same user
changes their password on different nodes at exactly the same time?

BT: You can simulate these scenarios with some simple scripts, some 
syncronized system clocks, and cron jobs.

The simplest thing is to only allow changes at one node and use rsync
from that node to propogate changes to all nodes.

Tom Haynes
thomas at

More information about the Beowulf mailing list