Administering the Network Information Service (NIS)

Administering the Network Information Service (NIS)

The Network Information Service (NIS) centralizes and simplifies the management of administrative files such as /etc/passwd, /etc/group and /etc/hosts which you require to be the same for all hosts on a network. By running NIS, you can distribute administrative databases (``maps'') among a variety of machines and can update those databases from a centralized location in an automatic and reliable fashion, ensuring that all clients share in the same databases in a consistent manner throughout the network. This means that, when you run NIS, you no longer have to change the administrative files in /etc on every machine each time you modify the network environment.

For example, when you add a new machine to a network without NIS, you must update /etc/hosts on every machine on the network. With NIS, you only have to update the input file on the master server and run ypbuild. This automatically updates a number of maps, including two maps named hosts.byname and hosts.byaddr. These maps are then transferred to other servers and are then available to all the clients. The programs that previously consulted /etc/hosts send a remote procedure call to the NIS servers for the same information. The NIS server refers to the hosts.byname and hosts.byaddr maps, then sends the requested information to the client.

Furthermore, the use of the NIS publickey map permits running secure RPC (Remote Procedure Call) across the network of machines.

NOTE: In this topic, the term ``administrator'' is used to mean either root, or a user who has been granted access to certain privileged commands. See ``Trusted facility management'', adminrole(1M), adminuser(1M), and tfadmin(1M) for more information.

You can use the Client Manager to configure an NIS client. See ``The Client Manager interface'' for more information.

© 2004 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 22 April 2004