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Enabling NSS xattr on OES

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Dean Giles

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Posted: 9 Nov 2007

NSS pools contain metadata such as trustees and extended attributes not found on other Linux file systems. Standard Linux APIs cannot backup or preserve this specialized metadata. Novell has implemented a way to push the extended attributes into the standard Linux xattr framework so that all of this specialized metadata can be preserved by standard Linux xattr APIs.

It is necessary to set some NSS switches to enable this behavior. The switches can be set from NSSCON and are the following:

NSS /ListXattrNWMetadata
NSS /CtimeIsMetadataModTime

However, these switches are temporary. If they are set in NSSCON, they would have to be set again after each reboot of the system. To make these switches permanent across reboots the switches must be set in the nssstart.cfg file.

The following lines must be added to the nssstart.cfg file:


The leading NSS commands must NOT be in the lines added to the conf file.

The nssstart.cfg file is found at:

/opt/novell/nss/conf/nssstart.cfg on OES 1 servers and at:

/etc/opt/novell/nss/nssstart.cfg on OES 2 servers.


If after adding the switches to the nssstart.cfg file, the nss pool will not mount, it is likely that the nssstart.cfg file cannot be parsed. It is possible that the switches were misspelled or that an added space is found after the / that the parser does not like. Make sure the added lines are exactly as they appear above, or remove the lines, and retype them in.

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