Applies to openSUSE Leap 42.1

Part I Authentication

2 Authentication with PAM

Linux uses PAM (pluggable authentication modules) in the authentication process as a layer that mediates between user and application. PAM modules are available on a systemwide basis, so they can be requested by any application. This chapter describes how the modular authentication mechanism works and how it is configured.

3 Using NIS

As soon as multiple Unix systems in a network access common resources, it becomes imperative that all user and group identities are the same for all machines in that network. The network should be transparent to users: their environments should not vary, regardless of which machine they are actually using. This can be done by means of NIS and NFS services. NFS distributes file systems over a network and is discussed in Book “Reference”, Chapter 22 “Sharing File Systems with NFS”.

NIS (Network Information Service) can be described as a database-like service that provides access to the contents of /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, and /etc/group across networks. NIS can also be used for other purposes (making the contents of files like /etc/hosts or /etc/services available, for example), but this is beyond the scope of this introduction. People often refer to NIS as YP, because it works like the network's yellow pages.

4 Authentication Server and Client

The Authentication Server is based on LDAP and optionally Kerberos. On SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, you can configure it with a YaST wizard.

For more information about LDAP, see Chapter 5, LDAP—A Directory Service, and about Kerberos, see Chapter 7, Network Authentication with Kerberos.

5 LDAP—A Directory Service

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is a set of protocols designed to access and maintain information directories. LDAP can be used for user and group management, system configuration management, address management, and more. This chapter provides a basic understanding of how OpenLDAP works.

6 Active Directory Support

Active Directory* (AD) is a directory-service based on LDAP, Kerberos, and other services that is used by Microsoft Windows to manage resources, services, and people. In an MS Windows network, AD provides information about these objects, restricts access to them, and enforces policies. openSUSE® Lea…

7 Network Authentication with Kerberos

An open network provides no means of ensuring that a workstation can identify its users properly, except through the usual password mechanisms. In common installations, the user must enter the password each time a service inside the network is accessed. Kerberos provides an authentication method wit…

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