Getting started

Default configuration

The debops.nsswitch role is designed to allow control over the /etc/nsswitch.conf configuration file both by other Ansible roles (as a role dependency) and by the system administrator. The Ansible roles can enable different NSS services after they have been configured on the host. The system administrator can decide what order the various NSS services should be used in and if they should be used in a particular NSS database lookup.

The default role configuration shouldn't affect the /etc/nsswitch.conf configuration file provided by the OS distribution, apart from changing the mDNS service from IPv4 to both IPv6 and IPv4 (see mDNS (Avahi/ZeroConf) support for more details). The convention on Debian is that different packages which provide NSS services modify the /etc/nsswitch.conf configuration file themselves, therefore the role tries to respect local modifications. A set of various NSS services (LDAP, SSS, Winbind) should be detected and enabled accordingly, however the order of the services comes from the role itself and might change from the one created by the Debian packages.

According to the nsswitch.conf(5), processes that use the NSS configuration file read the /etc/nsswitch.conf only once, therefore a restart of these processes (for example nscd or sssd) might be needed.

At the moment the role restarts the systemd-logind service on the configuration changes, but only when the playbook is executed against a remote host, to avoid breaking local user session. Changes on localhost might need the system to be restarted for systemd-logind to reload the new configuration correctly.

mDNS (Avahi/ZeroConf) support

The role will replace the mdns4_minimal NSS service with mdns_minimal if the IPv6 support is enabled in the debops.avahi Ansible role (detected via Ansible local facts). This will allow lookup of the .local domain over IPv6 network.

To disable this behaviour, set in the inventory:

    - 'files'
    - [ 'mdns4_minimal', '[NOTFOUND=return]' ]
    - 'dns'
    - 'wins'

Use of the mdns4_minimal NSS service is currently an upstream default behaviour, which was suggested for Debian in 2008. However the IPv6 deployment was not very widespread at the time, which is not true anymore. Because DebOps tries to be IPv6-friendly and work out of the box with IPv6 network, the role by default will enable mDNS support on IPv6. If this becomes problematic, the default might change to leaving mdns4_minimal in its current state.

Example inventory

The debops.nsswitch role is part of the common DebOps playbook. You don't need to do anything to enable it on all hosts.

Example playbook

If you are using this role without DebOps, here's an example Ansible playbook that uses the debops.nsswitch role:


- name: Manage Name Service Switch configuration
  collections: [ 'debops.debops', 'debops.roles01',
                 'debops.roles02', 'debops.roles03' ]
  hosts: [ 'debops_all_hosts', 'debops_service_nsswitch' ]
  become: True

  environment: '{{ inventory__environment | d({})
                   | combine(inventory__group_environment | d({}))
                   | combine(inventory__host_environment  | d({})) }}'


    - role: nsswitch
      tags: [ 'role::nsswitch', 'skip::nsswitch' ]