5.5. Directory Services Utilities

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This chapter demonstrates four Directory Services utilities : dscl, nireport, nidump, and niload. Table 5-1 describes these and other NetInfo utilities.

Figure 5-4. Browsing the local directory

Table 5-1. NetInfo tools




Provides a command-line interface to Directory Services.


Provides a command-line interface to NetInfo.


Extracts flat file format data (such as /etc/passwd) from NetInfo.


Finds a NetInfo directory.


Performs a regular expression search on NetInfo.


Loads flat file format data (such as /etc/passwd) into NetInfo.


Prints tables from NetInfo.


NetInfo utility for manipulating the database.

The nidump and nireport utilities display the contents of the local directory. niload loads the contents of flat files (such as /etc/passwd or /etc/hosts) into Directory Services. niutil directly manipulates the Directory Services database; it's the command-line equivalent of NetInfo Manager. To make changes, use sudo with these commands or first log in as the root user. The commands that can be performed as a normal user are shown without the sudo command in the examples that follow.

Unlike other ni* utilities, nicl acts directly on the database files. Consequently, you can use nicl to modify the local directory even when Directory Services is not running (such as when you boot into single-user mode).

When you use any of these utilities you are making potentially dangerous changes to your system. But even if you trash the local directory with reckless usage of these commands, you can restore the NetInfo database from your last backup. For more details, see "Restoring the Directory Services Database," later in this chapter. To back up the local NetInfo database, use the command:

     $ nidump -r / -t localhost/local > backup.nidump 

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    Mac OS X Tiger for Unix Geeks
    Mac OS X Tiger for Unix Geeks
    ISBN: 0596009127
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2006
    Pages: 176

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