I am using the standard vixie-cron am seeing the following my logs :
crond[3293]: (username) ORPHAN (no passwd entry)
Ordinarily this is a simple matter, there is no corresponding user, but I am using central authentication and the username does exist and is usable via the standard nsswitch mechanism, so all other programs work with it, pam, ssh etc..

For example, I can do crontab -e -u username and edit this very crontab, the crontab is valid, you can log in as this username etc., however the crontab never fires, it always just triggers the above line in my logs

Why is cron trying to look in /etc/passwd instead of going through nsswitch?

How can I tell cron to get a clue?

Just before finishing this post, I've realized that using the -p switch to crond allows cron to ignore the user check and just run the crontab... however I am sure that this check was there for a good reason...

Any other fixes or suggestions welcome.