nscd caching daemon in Sun Solaris

The nscd daemon is a caching daemon in Sun Solaris. It provides caching services for hosts,passwd,group,ipnodes databases using various nameservice lookups like hosts file, DNS, NIS,NIS+ and more. Each cache has a separate time-to-live for its data and modifying the local database like /etc/hosts invalidates that cache within ten seconds. nscd doesn’t cache /etc/shadow (contains encrypted passwords for /etc/passwd) file simple for security reasons as anyone would understand.

As nscd daemon provides caching service, it is necessary when you run a name service like DNS, NIS or NIS+ in your network. The configuration of nscd daemon can customised using the /etc/nscd.conf file and it is important more from a security point of view where you can control what is and how is cached on your solaris server.

A sample configuration looks like the following

enable-cache          passwd no
enable-cache          group no
positive-time-to-live hosts 3600
negative-time-to-live hosts 5
suggested-size        hosts 211
keep-hot-count        hosts 20
old-data-ok           hosts no
check-files           hosts yes

Each line of the config file has an attribute and a value or an attribute, cachename and value


attribute: enable-cache

cachename: group or passwd

Value: 3600 (time in seconds) or yes/no for to cache or not to cache.

Enable/Disable nscd caching

However, if caching is not required, disable the service at start up by renaming the startup script




optionally, rename the kill scrips in /etc/rc1.d/, /etc/rcS.d/, /etc/rc0.d/ from




Manually Start & Stop nscd daemon

To start & stop nscd daemon manually:

Start nscd

solaris#/etc/init.d/nscd start

Stop nscd

solaris#/etc/init.d/nscd stop

For more information, please check the Sun man pages

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