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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       nis_intro - Network Information Service (NIS) introductory

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       The Network Information Service  (NIS)  is  a  distributed
       name  service  that  allows  participating  hosts to share
       access to a common set of system and network  files.   NIS
       allows  the  system  administrator  to manage these shared
       files on a single system.

       NIS is intended for use  in  a  secure  environment  only,
       where gateways do not allow outside Internet access to the
       NIS protocol.

   NIS Maps    [Toc]    [Back]
       Information distributed by NIS is stored in database files
       called  maps.   Most  of the NIS maps represent files that
       were traditionally stored in the  /etc  directory.   These
       files include the following: aliases group hosts netgroups
       networks passwd protocols rpc services

       In a secure environment, you can run NIS in a secure mode,
       thereby  creating secure and nonsecure versions of the NIS
       maps.  See Security Administration for more information.

       You can also use NIS to distribute files used by Automount
       or AutoFS, or to distribute other user-defined files.

       Each NIS map contains a set of keys and associated values.
       For example, as keys, the  hosts  map  contains  all  host
       names  on  a  network,  and  as  values, the corresponding
       Internet addresses.  Each NIS map has a map name, used  by
       programs to access data in the map.

   NIS Domains    [Toc]    [Back]
       A  named  set  of NIS maps is called a domain.  A system's
       "domain name" or "NIS domain" corresponds to  the  set  of
       NIS  maps that the system can access.  You can think of an
       NIS domain as a set of systems that share the same set  of
       NIS maps.

       A  system's  domain  name is set at the time the system is
       booted by the /sbin/init.d/nis script using  an  entry  in
       the /etc/rc.config.common file.  System administrators can
       use the nissetup script to place  entries  in  this  file.
       The  nissetup  script is described in the Network Administration:
 Services manual.

       You can determine  your  system's  NIS  domain  using  the
       domainname command.  Refer to domainname(1). A domain name
       is required for retrieving data from an NIS database.

   NIS Client-Server Model    [Toc]    [Back]
       NIS follows the client-server model  of  distributed  services.
  There  are  two  types of NIS servers - master and
       slave.  The master server stores the master  copy  of  the
       NIS  maps for its domain; these are the only NIS maps that
       can be modified.  Each domain has only one master  server.

       Slave  servers  store  copies  of  the master server's NIS
       maps.  NIS  slave  servers  can  be  spread  throughout  a
       network.   Whenever  an  NIS  map is updated on the master
       server, the master propagates the changes  to  each  slave
       server  in  its  domain.  If the master is unavailable for
       any reason, the slave servers continue  to  make  the  NIS
       maps available to the NIS clients.

       Clients  are  all of the systems that can access NIS maps.
       When a client requires NIS information, it makes a  remote
       procedure  call  (RPC) to one of the NIS servers to obtain
       the information.

   NIS Data Storage    [Toc]    [Back]
       The data in NIS maps is stored as databases  in  dbm/ndbm,
       btree, or hash format.

       For  example,  the  NIS map for the /etc/hosts file in the
       domain market might be stored in these dbm/ndbm files:

       /var/yp/market/hosts.byaddr.dir               /var/yp/market/hosts.byaddr.pag

       The makedbm command takes an ASCII file such as /etc/hosts
       and  converts  it  into dbm/ndbm files suitable for use by
       NIS.  However,  system  administrators  use  the  Makefile
       script  in  the  /var/yp directory to create NIS map files
       and specify file format. The Makefile  script  then  calls

       Refer  to  the Network Administration: Services manual for
       details on the Makefile script, specifying different  formats,
 and other NIS management information.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       Commands:  domainname(1),  svcsetup(8), ypbind(8), yppasswdd(8), ypserv(8), ypxfr(8)

       Files: svc.conf(4)

       Network Administration: Services

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