NSDB-DESCRIBE(8) System Manager's Manual NSDB-DESCRIBE(8)
nsdb-describe - modify an fedfsDescr attribute
nsdb-describe [-?dy] [-a description] [-D binddn] [-l nsdbname] [-r nsdbport] distinguished-name
RFC 5716 introduces the Federated File System (FedFS, for short). FedFS is an extensible standardized mechanism by which system adminis-
trators construct a coherent namespace across multiple file servers using file system referrals. For further details, see fedfs(7).
The bulk of FedFS junction information in a FedFS domain is stored on one or more LDAP servers. These servers are known as namespace data-
bases, or NSDBs, for short.
FedFS-enabled file servers and clients access the information stored on NSDBs via standard LDAP queries. FedFS-enabled file servers use
these queries to resolve FedFS junctions. FedFS administrators use them to manage information about file sets contained in a FedFS domain
The nsdb-describe(8) command is part of a collection of low-level single-use programs that is intended for testing the NSDB protocol or for
use in scripts. It allows FedFS administrators to update the fedfsDescr attribute of FedFS records stored on an NSDB.
This command has one positional parameter which specifies the LDAP distinguished name of the FedFS record to be modified. All FedFS object
classes may have a fedfsDescr attribute, thus a fully qualified distinguished name, rather than, say, an FSN UUID by itself, must be speci-
The fedfsDescr attribute is multi-valued. Each attribute value is an unstructured string. These strings may contain any valid UTF-8 char-
The nsdb-describe(8) command inserts new values or deletes or replaces existing ones while maintaining the correct structure of the fedfs-
Each value of the fedfsDescr attribute has no meaning to FedFS and is ignored. Adding a description allows free-form documentation of a
FedFS record to be stored with it without requiring changes to the NSDB's FedFS schema.
Specifies a single fedfsDescr string to be added to or deleted from the attribute's value. The form of the string is not checked by
the nsdb-describe (8) command. If the --delete option is specified and this string exists as a value of the target record's fedfs-
Descr attribute, it is removed. Otherwise the value is added.
Enables debugging messages during operation.
Displays nsdb-describe(8) version information and a usage message on stderr.
Specifies a distinguished name of an entity used to bind to the LDAP server where the NSDB resides. If the --binddn option is not
specified, the value of the FEDFS_NSDB_ADMIN environment variable is consulted. If this variable is not set, the NSDB connection
parameter database is searched for this DN. If none of these is specified, or if this entity does not have permission to modify
this area of the server's DIT, the nsdb-describe(8) command fails.
Specifies the hostname of the NSDB where the target record resides. If the --nsdbname option is not specified, the value of the
FEDFS_NSDB_HOST environment variable is consulted. If the variable is not set and the --nsdbname option is not specified, the nsdb-
describe(8) command fails.
Specifies the IP port of the NSDB where the target record resides. If the --nsdbport option is not specified, the value of the
FEDFS_NSDB_PORT environment variable is consulted. The default value if the variable is not set is 389.
Specifies that the specified value string is deleted rather than added.
The NSDB returns a value that reflects the success of the requested operation.
The LDAP modify request succeeded.
The bound entity does not have permission to perform the requested operation.
One of the arguments was not valid.
An unanticipated non-protocol error occurred.
The nsdb-describe(8) command was unable to find a route to the specified NSDB.
The nsdb-describe(8) command determined that the specified NSDB was down.
The nsdb-describe(8) command was unable to establish a connection with the specified NSDB.
The nsdb-describe(8) command was unable to authenticate and establish a secure connection with the specified NSDB.
A non-specific LDAP error occurred on the connection between the nsdb-describe(8) command and specified NSDB.
An LDAP error occurred on the connection between the nsdb-describe(8) command and specified NSDB. The specific error may be dis-
played on the command line.
The nsdb-describe(8) command was unable to locate the NCE on the specified NSDB.
The nsdb-describe(8) command was unable to locate the specified FSN on the specified NSDB.
The nsdb-describe(8) command was unable to locate any FSLs for the specified FSN on the specified NSDB.
The nsdb-describe(8) command received a malformed response from the specified NSDB.
An unanticipated error related to the specified NSDB occurred.
The local NSDB connection parameter database does not have any connection parameters on record for the specified NSDB.
The nsdb-describe(8) command received an LDAP referral that it was unable to follow.
The nsdb-describe(8) command received an LDAP referral that it was unable to follow. A specific error may be displayed on the com-
The nsdb-describe(8) command received an LDAP referral that it chose not to follow, either because the local implementation does not
support following LDAP referrals or LDAP referral following is disabled.
The nsdb-describe(8) command received an LDAP referral that it chose not to follow because the local NSDB connection parameter data-
base had no connection parameters for the NSDB targeted by the LDAP referral.
Suppose you are the FedFS administrator of the example.net FedFS domain, and you want to modify the record for FSN UUID
dc25a644-06e4-11e0-ae55-000c29dc7f8a on the NSDB nsdb.example.net. You might use:
$ nsdb-describe -l nsdb.example.net
-a "Hello, world!" -D cn=Manager
Enter NSDB password:
Successfully updated description value for
To see the new description, use nsdb-resolve-fsn(8).
Permission to modify the LDAP's DIT is required to update an LDAP entry. The nsdb-describe(8) command must bind as an entity permitted to
modify the DIT to perform this operation. The nsdb-describe(8) command asks for a password on stdin. Standard password blanking tech-
niques are used to obscure the password on the user's terminal.
The target LDAP server must be registered in the local NSDB connection parameter database. The connection security mode listed in the NSDB
connection parameter database for the target LDAP server is used during this operation. See nsdbparams(8) for details on how to register
an NSDB in the local NSDB connection parameter database.
fedfs(7), nsdb-resolve-fsn(8), nsdbparams(8)
RFC 5716 for FedFS requirements and overview
RFC 4510 for an introduction to LDAP
This page is part of the fedfs-utils package. A description of the project and information about reporting bugs can be found at
Chuck Lever <firstname.lastname@example.org>
3 February 2014 NSDB-DESCRIBE(8)