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Sharing parts of /etc through nfs

i'm getting a little beowulf cluster together and am having trouble
getting parts of /etc to be shared through nfs.

'sigemund' is the master node, running the nfs server and acting as
the gateway for the other (3) nodes. sigemund has a /beowulf , which
in turn has an etc directory, which has in it the files i wish to share
with the client nodes.

'janice' is a client, and has sigemund:/beowulf mounted on
/beowulf. janice:/etc/passwd is a symlink to /beowulf/etc/passwd. this
passwd file has legitimate account info in it; it right now is a copy
of sigemund:/etc/passwd. i've done the same with shadow and group.

i ssh into sigemund fine, then telnet into janice:

eafarris@sigemund:/home/eafarris$ telnet janice
Connected to janice (
Escape character is '^]'.
Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 janice
janice login: eafarris

Login timed out after 60 seconds.
Connection closed by foreign host.

so what gives? i know nfs is working ok, because the file systems are
mounted. /etc/<stuff> is symlinked into /beowulf/etc/<stuff>. i can
(well, not now, i've broken logins, but i could before i tried this)
cat /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow, and things look ok. i made sure the
permissions on /beowulf/etc/<stuff> match an existing system. i have a
feeling that shadow is biting me. are /etc/passwd and the corresponding
/etc/shadow machine specific? if so, how do i do this? what i want is
to be able to change the /beowulf/etc/* files on sigemund, and therefore
create the user on the other nodes.

tia for any help you can offer.

eric a. Farris  eafarris@al.umces.edu  www.bigfoot.com/~eafarris
Systems Administrator
Appalachian Laboratory, UMCES  www.al.umces.edu

If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...
oh, wait, he does.

The more that you read / The more things you will know
The more that you learn / The more places you'll go.

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