The hosts.equiv and .rhosts files contain information regarding trusted hosts and users on the network. For each host a single line should be present with the following information:
or the more verbose
A "@" indicates a host by netgroup or user by netgroup. A single "+" matches all hosts or users. A host name with a leading "-" will reject all matching hosts and all their users. A user name with leading "-" will reject all matching users from matching hosts.
Items are separated by any number of blanks and/or tab characters. A "#" indicates the beginning of a comment; characters up to the end of the line are not interpreted by routines which search the file.
Host names are specified in the conventional "." (dot) notation using the inet_addr(3) routine from the Internet address manipulation library, inet(3). Host names may contain any printable character other than a field delimiter, newline, or comment character.
For security reasons, a users .rhosts file will be ignored if it is not a regular file, or if it is not owned by the user, or if it is writable by anyone other than the user.