Manual browser: revnetgroup(8)

REVNETGROUP(8) System Manager's Manual REVNETGROUP(8)


revnetgroupgenerate reverse netgroup data


revnetgroup [-hu] [-f netgroup_file]


revnetgroup processes the contents of a file in netgroup(5) format into what is called reverse netgroup form. That is, where the original file shows netgroup memberships in terms of which members reside in a particular group, the reverse netgroup format specifies what groups are associated with a particular member. This information is used to generate the netgroup.byuser and netgroup.byhosts NIS maps. These reverse netgroup maps are used to help speed up netgroup lookups, particularly for the innetgr() library function.

For example, the standard /etc/netgroup file may list a netgroup and a list of its members. Here, the netgroup is considered the key and the member names are the data. By contrast, the reverse netgroup.byusers database lists each unique member as the key and the netgroups to which the members belong become the data. Separate databases are created to hold information pertaining to users and hosts; this allows netgroup username lookups and netgroup hostname lookups to be performed using independent keyspaces.

By constructing these reverse netgroup databases (and the corresponding NIS maps) in advance, the getnetgrent(3) library functions are spared from having to work out the dependencies themselves on the fly. This is important on networks with large numbers of users and hosts, since it can take a considerable amount of time to process very large netgroup databases.

The revnetgroup command prints its results on the standard output. It is usually called only by /var/yp/<domain>/Makefile when rebuilding the NIS netgroup maps.


The revnetgroup command supports the following options:
Generate netgroup.byuser output; only username information in the original netgroup file is processed.
Generate netgroup.byhost output; only hostname information in the original netgroup file is processed. (Note at least one of the -u or -h flags must be specified.)
[-f netgroup_file]
The revnetgroup command uses /etc/netgroup as its default input file. The -f flag allows the user to specify an alternate input file. Specifying ``-'' as the input file causes revnetgroup to read from the standard input.


The Makefile that calls makedbm and revnetgroup to build the NIS databases.
The default netgroup database file. This file is most often found only on the NIS master server.


Bill Paul <>
February 26, 2005 NetBSD 7.0