Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm trying to diagnose a problem on a CentOS machine in a corporate environment. It's a box someone else configured before leaving the company. The issue is that when we su to the user gitlab, we're actually the user gitauth. There's nothing in /etc or its subdirs that contains the string gitauth. What would cause this? Perhaps an external profile for the user in ActiveDirectory or LDAP? My core question is - what should I look for to point to where the gitauth user is coming from?

[me@blah ~]$ sudo su - gitlab
[gitauth@blah ~]$ id
uid=398473190(gitauth) gid=398473190(gitauth) ...

Output from authconfig, with org named changed:

caching is disabled
nss_files is always enabled
nss_compat is disabled
nss_db is disabled
nss_hesiod is disabled
 hesiod LHS = ""
 hesiod RHS = ""
nss_ldap is disabled
 LDAP+TLS is disabled
 LDAP server = ""
 LDAP base DN = ""
nss_nis is disabled
 NIS server = ""
 NIS domain = ""
nss_nisplus is disabled
nss_winbind is disabled
 SMB workgroup = ""
 SMB servers = ""
 SMB security = "user"
 SMB realm = ""
 Winbind template shell = "/bin/false"
 SMB idmap uid = "16777216-33554431"
 SMB idmap gid = "16777216-33554431"
nss_sss is disabled by default
nss_wins is disabled
nss_mdns4_minimal is disabled
DNS preference over NSS or WINS is disabled
pam_unix is always enabled
 shadow passwords are enabled
 password hashing algorithm is sha512
pam_krb5 is disabled
 krb5 realm = "MGMT.OURDEPT"
 krb5 realm via dns is enabled
 krb5 kdc = "dc2mgmtdirqa01.mgmt.ourdept:88,dc2mgmtdirqa02.mgmt.ourdept:88"
 krb5 kdc via dns is enabled
 krb5 admin server = ""
pam_ldap is disabled
 LDAP+TLS is disabled
 LDAP server = ""
 LDAP base DN = ""
 LDAP schema = "rfc2307"
pam_pkcs11 is disabled
 use only smartcard for login is disabled
 smartcard module = ""
 smartcard removal action = ""
pam_fprintd is disabled
pam_winbind is disabled
 SMB workgroup = ""
 SMB servers = ""
 SMB security = "user"
 SMB realm = ""
pam_sss is disabled by default
 credential caching in SSSD is enabled
 SSSD use instead of legacy services if possible is enabled
IPAv2 is disabled
IPAv2 domain was not joined
 IPAv2 server = ""
 IPAv2 realm = ""
 IPAv2 domain = ""
pam_cracklib is enabled (try_first_pass retry=3 type=)
pam_passwdqc is disabled ()
pam_access is disabled ()
pam_mkhomedir or pam_oddjob_mkhomedir is disabled ()
Always authorize local users is enabled ()
Authenticate system accounts against network services is disabled
share|improve this question
What is this machine authenticating against? –  Michael Hampton Aug 10 '13 at 0:35
Yes, that's the question. –  Don Branson Aug 10 '13 at 0:40
Run authconfig --test and check the output to see what authentication methods are enabled. You'll probably have to pastebin it. –  Michael Hampton Aug 10 '13 at 0:43
Looks like a uidNumber collision. What does getent passwd gitlab 398473190 gitauth return? –  84104 Aug 10 '13 at 1:20
gitauth:x:398473190:398473190:gitauth:/home/gitauth:/bin/bash gitauth:x:398473190:398473190:gitauth:/home/gitauth:/bin/bash gitauth:x:398473190:398473190:gitauth:/home/gitauth:/bin/bash –  Don Branson Aug 10 '13 at 1:29

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

To find out where a system is getting directory information -- which is distinct from authentication information -- look in /etc/nsswitch.conf. Look for a line that starts with passwd:; this will be followed by a list of services being queried for user information. It might look something like this:

passwd: files


passwd: files ldap

Or maybe:

passwd: files sss

Or even:

passwd: files winbind

Or some combination of the above and possibly even other options.

If it contains ldap, look for /etc/nslcd.conf (or /etc/ldap.conf for older versions of CentOS). If it contains sss, look in /etc/sssd/sssd.conf. If it contains winbind, look at your Samba configuration in /etc/samba/smb.conf. If contains something else, let us know!

share|improve this answer
Props to Michael Hampton for pointing out that authconfig --test will provide a nice summary of this information... –  larsks Aug 10 '13 at 0:47
Props to anyone who helps :) –  Don Branson Aug 10 '13 at 0:50
passwd: centrifydc files –  Don Branson Aug 10 '13 at 0:51
Your system is using Centrify, a (proprietary) product used to link Linux systems to Active Directory. Look in AD for your mysterious user... –  larsks Aug 10 '13 at 0:52
You got my upvote, what more do you want? :) –  Michael Hampton Aug 10 '13 at 1:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.