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From a security perspective, I'm looking into how Active Directory user accounts, for which folders are created in /home, are integrated into the Linux host.

I would expect the account names of these users to appear in one of the following files, but they are not present:

/etc/passwd
/etc/pam.d/passwd
/etc/nsswitch.conf

Furthermore, each of the users have an ~/.ssh directory, permitting ssh pubkey login.

So, how can these domain users log into the Linux host, when they are not configured anywhere (e.g. /etc/passwd)?

  • I have no idea what Chef does, but that's what nsswitch is for -- to allow passwd management other than in /etc/passwd (see eg LDAP auth). And btw, ssh authorized keys can also be managed centrally -- look for AuthorizedKeysCommand in sshd_config(5). – mosvy Aug 30 at 11:50

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