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* System-wide authentication and name service using a MySQL database. Applications do not need to be MySQL-aware or modified in any way.
* Storing authentication information in a database instead of text files.
* Creation of a single authentication database for multiple servers. This is often referred to as the "Single Sign-on" problem.
* Writing data-modification routines (IE self-management web interface).
libnss-mysql is similar to NIS or LDAP. It provides the same centralized authentication service through a database. What does this mean? Username, uid, gid, password, etc comes from a MySQL database instead of /etc/password, /etc/shadow, and /etc/group. A user configured in MySQL will look and behave just like a user configured in /etc/passwd. Your applications such as ls, finger, sendmail, qmail, exim, postfix, proftpd, X, sshd, etc. will all 'see' these users!