AUTH_ATTR(5) Standards, Environments, and Macros AUTH_ATTR(5)


auth_attr - authorization description database




/etc/security/auth_attr is a local source for authorization names and
descriptions. The auth_attr file can be used with other authorization
sources, including the auth_attr NIS map. Programs use the
getauthattr(3SECDB) routines to access this information.

The search order for multiple authorization sources is specified in the
/etc/nsswitch.conf file, as described in the nsswitch.conf(5) man page.

An authorization is a right assigned to users that is checked by certain
privileged programs to determine whether users can execute restricted
functionality. Each entry in the auth_attr database consists of one line
of text containing six fields separated by colons (:). Line continuations
using the backslash (\) character are permitted. The format of each entry


The name of the authorization. Authorization names are
unique strings. Construct authorization names using the
following convention:

prefix. or prefix.suffix

Everything in the name field up to the final dot
(.). Authorizations from Sun Microsystems, Inc.
use solaris as a prefix. To avoid name conflicts,
all other authorizations should use a prefix that
begins with the reverse-order Internet domain
name of the organization that creates the
authorization (for example, com.xyzcompany).
Prefixes can have additional arbitrary components
chosen by the authorization's developer, with
components separated by dots.

The final component in the name field. Specifies
what is being authorized.

When there is no suffix, the name is defined as a
heading. Headings are not assigned to users but
are constructed for use by applications in their

When a name ends with the word grant, the entry defines a
grant authorization. Grant authorizations are used to
support fine-grained delegation. Users with appropriate
grant authorizations can delegate some of their
authorizations to others. To assign an authorization, the
user needs to have both the authorization itself and the
appropriate grant authorization.

Reserved for future use.

Reserved for future use.

A short description or terse name for the authorization.
This name should be suitable for displaying in user
interfaces, such as in a scrolling list in a GUI.

A long description. This field can explain the precise
purpose of the authorization, the applications in which it
is used, and the type of user that would be interested in
using it. The long description can be displayed in the help
text of an application.

An optional list of semicolon-separated (;) key-value pairs
that describe the attributes of an authorization. Zero or
more keys may be specified. The keyword help identifies a
help file in HTML.


Example 1: Constructing a Name

In the following example, the name has a prefix (solaris.admin.usermgr)
followed by a suffix (read):

Example 2: Defining a Heading

Because the name field ends with a dot, the following entry defines a

solaris.admin.usermgr.:::User Accounts::help=AuthUsermgrHeader.html

Example 3: Assigning Separate Authorizations to Set User Attributes

In this example, a heading entry is followed by other associated
authorization entries. The entries below the heading provide separate
authorizations for setting user attributes. The attr field for each
entry, including the heading entry, assigns a help file. The application
that uses the help key requires the value to equal the name of a file
ending in .htm or .html:

solaris.admin.usermgr.:::User Accounts::help=AuthUsermgrHeader.html
solaris.admin.usermgr.pswd:::Change Password::help=AuthUserMgrPswd.html
solaris.admin.usermgr.write:::Manage Users::help=AuthUsermgrWrite.html

Example 4: Assigning a Grant Authorization

This example assigns to an administrator the following authorizations:


With the above authorizations, the administrator can assign to others the
solaris.admin.printer.delete, solaris.admin.printer.modify, and authorizations, but not the
solaris.login.enable authorization. If the administrator has both the
grant authorization, solaris.admin.printmgr.grant, and the wildcard
authorization, solaris.admin.printmgr.*, the administrator can grant to
others any of the printer authorizations. See user_attr(5) for more
information about how wildcards can be used to assign multiple
authorizations whose names begin with the same components.

Example 5: Authorizing the Ability to Assign Other Authorizations

The following entry defines an authorization that grants the ability to
assign any authorization created with a solaris prefix, when the
administrator also has either the specific authorization being granted or
a matching wildcard entry:

solaris.grant:::Grant All Solaris Authorizations::help=PriAdmin.html

Example 6: Consulting the Local Authorization File Ahead of the NIS Table

With the following entry from /etc/nsswitch.conf, the local auth_attr
file is consulted before the NIS table:

auth_attr:files nis






getauthattr(3SECDB), getexecattr(3SECDB), getprofattr(3SECDB),
getuserattr(3SECDB), exec_attr(5), nsswitch.conf(5), user_attr(5)


Because the list of legal keys is likely to expand, any code that parses
this database must be written to ignore unknown key-value pairs without
error. When any new keywords are created, the names should be prefixed
with a unique string, such as the company's stock symbol, to avoid
potential naming conflicts.

Each application has its own requirements for whether the help value must
be a relative pathname ending with a filename or the name of a file. The
only known requirement is for the name of a file.

The following characters are used in describing the database format and
must be escaped with a backslash if used as data: colon (:), semicolon
(;), equals (=), and backslash (\).

February 25, 2017 AUTH_ATTR(5)