I want to easily and quickly tell if a user is local or domain (don't care which domain).


  • freeipa-client-4.6.1-3.fc27.x86_64
  • sssd-1.16.0-4.fc27.x86_64

Full story

I am writing a userinfo.sh script that will show if a user is local, sssd, can ssh, and is permitted by sssd.

Currently I am doing the check for if the user is from the domain with the getent passwd -s sss $USERNAME command. But I ran into an issue where checking the sssd database returns a local user!

# getent passwd -s sss 'bgstack15-local'

Checking the contents of the database (cache) for sss shows sssd apparently caches all sorts of information about the local user.

# sudo su root -c 'strings /var/lib/sss/db/* | grep bgstack15-local' | sort | uniq
[...output truncated]

I tried clearing the sssd cache overall, and just for the user. Neither made a difference.

# sss_cache -U
# sss_cache -u bgstack15-local

The user does show up as a local user, and I promise it is only a local user!

getent passwd -s files 'bgstack15-local'

The man pages for getent(1) and getpwent(3) don't help me understand what could be going on. sssd(8) shows me that sssd can cache local users, which actually goes against what I want! The nss section of sssd.conf(5) doesn't help, but maybe I didn't take enough time to read it. I'm a little stuck.

My sssd.conf

id_provider = ipa
ipa_server = _srv_, dns1.ipa.example.com
ipa_domain = ipa.example.com
ipa_hostname = fc27c-01a.ipa.example.com
auth_provider = ipa
chpass_provider = ipa
access_provider = ipa
cache_credentials = True
ldap_tls_cacert = /etc/ipa/ca.crt
krb5_store_password_if_offline = True
services = nss, pam, ssh, sudo
domains = ipa.example.com
homedir_substring = /home

Last resort

I can try doing my checks against ${USERNAME}@${DOMAIN} when doing the -s sss check, but that means I then have to iterate over all domains in sssd.conf and that would slow the process down.


The option that controls this behavior is buried in sssd.conf(5) on CentOS 7 and Fedora, but not in the online man page.


enable_files_domain = false

Reference 3 shows that sssd makes a "fast cache for local users."

From man sssd.conf(5) on my Fedora system:

   enable_files_domain (boolean)
       When this option is enabled, SSSD prepends an implicit domain with
       “id_provider=files” before any explicitly configured domains.

       Default: true

Disabling this behavior lets me make a simple check to see if it is a local user or domain user.


  1. ddg: sssd disable caching local users
  2. https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1357418
  3. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Changes/SSSDCacheForLocalUsers
  4. Fedora 27 sssd.conf(5)
  5. https://bgstack15.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/getent-passwd-s-sss-localuser-shows-local-user/
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