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bos_setcellname - Sets the cell's name in ThisCell and CellServDB


bos setcellname -server <machine name> -name <cell name>
[-cell <cell name>] [-noauth] [-localauth] [-help]

bos setc -s <machine name> -n <cell name>
[-c <cell name>] [-n] [-l] [-h]


The bos setcellname command establishes the cell's name and makes the server machine named by the -server argument a member of it, by recording the value of the -name argument in two files which it creates on the local disk:

  • /etc/openafs/server/ThisCell
  • /etc/openafs/server/CellServDB. The cell name appears on the first line in the file, preceded by the required ">" symbol. The machine name specified with the -server argument appears on the second line along with its IP address as obtained from the cell's naming service. The machine is thus designated as the cell's first database server machine.


Issue this command only when the installing the cell's first AFS server machine. The OpenAFS Quick Start Guide explains how to copy over the ThisCell and CellServDB files from this or another appropriate machine during installation of additional server machines.

Be sure to choose a satisfactory cell name when issuing this command, because changing a cell's name is very complicated; for one thing, it requires changing every password in the Authentication Database. Consult the OpenAFS Administration Guide for advice on choosing a cell name.


Indicates the server machine on which to set the cell name in the ThisCell and CellServDB file. It is always the first machine installed in a cell. Identify the machine by IP address or its host name (either fully-qualified or abbreviated unambiguously). For details, see bos(8).
Defines the cell name, using standard Internet domain name format (the actual domain name is usually appropriate). Examples are "" for the Example Corporation and "" for the Example Organization. It must match the value of the -cell argument, if that is provided.
Names the cell in which to run the command. Do not combine this argument with the -localauth flag. For more details, see bos(8).
Assigns the unprivileged identity "anonymous" to the issuer. Do not combine this flag with the -localauth flag. For more details, see bos(8).
Constructs a server ticket using a key from the local /etc/openafs/server/KeyFile or /etc/openafs/server/KeyFileExt file. The bos command interpreter presents the ticket to the BOS Server during mutual authentication. Do not combine this flag with the -cell or -noauth options. For more details, see bos(8).
Prints the online help for this command. All other valid options are ignored.


The following command defines the cell name "" in the ThisCell and CellServDB files on the machine "" as it is installed as the cell's first server machine.

   % bos setcellname -server -name


Authorization checking is normally turned off during installation, which is the only recommended time to use this command; in this case no privilege is required. If authorization checking is turned on, the issuer must be listed in the /etc/openafs/server/UserList file on the machine named by the -server argument, or must be logged in as the local superuser "root" if the -localauth flag is included.


CellServDB(5), KeyFile(5), KeyFileExt(5), ThisCell(5), UserList(5), bos(8)

The OpenAFS Quick Start Guide at <>.

The OpenAFS Administration Guide at <>.


IBM Corporation 2000. <> All Rights Reserved.

This documentation is covered by the IBM Public License Version 1.0. It was converted from HTML to POD by software written by Chas Williams and Russ Allbery, based on work by Alf Wachsmann and Elizabeth Cassell.

2022-03-13 OpenAFS