I'm using a NIS server to control 100 clients. I'm using NIS for centralized authentication and NFS to share the home directory. The main problem I'm facing is that I cannot find out which users are logged in and which are logged out. Is there any way to find users who are logged in and logged out of the NIS?

My environment is Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

  • 1
    Wait, are you really looking for information on whether a particular user is currently logged in? Or are you looking for some piece of software that will help you add, list and remove users? "Manage users" usually refers to the latter.
    – user
    Nov 27, 2013 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


GUI for managing NIS

No, not one I've ever seen. You typically manage it via text files, these files are often under RCS, CVS, or SVN control. I usually keep the source files in this directory:


This is where I check them out to work on them, etc. When I want to propagate changes I cd to this directory:


Here's where I maintain a Makefile which I use to rebuild NIS maps.

Example lines from Makefile

YPSRCDIR = /etc/yp
YPPWDDIR = /etc/yp
GROUP       = $(YPPWDDIR)/group
PASSWD      = $(YPPWDDIR)/passwd
SHADOW      = $(YPPWDDIR)/shadow
GSHADOW     = $(YPPWDDIR)/gshadow
ADJUNCT     = $(YPPWDDIR)/passwd.adjunct


If you're really dissatisfied with NIS, and you want a more modern approach that includes GUIs, I'd suggest looking to LDAP. NIS is a essentially a dead technology, wrought with security problems. It's still useful in certain situations but LDAP is the future.

Determining logged in users through NIS?

No this is not possible with NIS. The NIS technology is purely to disseminate information from a central location to a pool of systems. It's one way. The information only flows from the central NIS server to the clients, the server has no visibility to any of the goings on on any of the NIS clients.

Again LDAP would likely be a better technology for these types of features. To find out what users are logged on within an NIS domain, you'll need to put together a script that shows you who's actively logged on on each of the 100+ machines you're using within the NIS domain.

  • Sorry, I can't get your answer! Nov 28, 2013 at 4:25
  • @Savvy - What aspect of my answer don't you understand? You cannot find out who's logged in to your domain using NIS. It only pushes information out to the NIS clients (100+ systems). Nothing more. No information about the NFS clients is communicated back to the NIS server.
    – slm
    Nov 28, 2013 at 4:35

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