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Solaris Network Information Services (NIS) Implementation


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[Jan 4, 2007] Solaris Naming Services Architecture Solaris DNS Architecture Overview By Tom Bialaski, Michael Haines.

Dec 6, 2001.( Prentice Hall) Reading this chapter is not an absolute requirement for deployment of LDAP, but if you become familiar with some of the architectural nuances, you can better understand broader deployment strategies. Each naming service has its own unique characteristics which may dictate how you deploy them. Although the focus of this BluePrint is LDAP, it is helpful to understand the feature set of legacy Solaris naming services to see how this new technology compares.

This is a sample chapter from Solaris and LDAP Naming Services: Deploying LDAP in the Enterprise.

  1. Evolution of Solaris Naming Services
  2. NIS and Files Coexistence
  3. NIS and DNS Coexistence
  4. Solaris Naming Service Switch
  5. Solaris Naming Service Switch Architecture
  6. NIS Architecture Overview
  7. NIS Client Server Architecture
  8. How NIS Clients Bind to the NIS Server
  9. NIS Maps
  10. NIS High Availability Architecture Features

The Jem Report - Solaris 10 a collection of great, new, unique features

Prior to the launch event I got some suggestions from Solaris sysadmins who had specific problems with previous versions of Solaris and had switched to other operating systems where they could. I took the issues mentioned in this SysAdmin to SysAdmin column and the comment attached to it, plus some other notes, and compiled the following list of issues, which several Solaris engineers addressed point by point:

[Apr 6, 2004] NETSYS.COM - Sun Managers Mailing List Archives

Hello all,

Sometime ago, I posed a question about how to get Solaris to work with Active
Directory. After several false starts, I finally found the answer: Microsoft's
Services for UNIX (SFU). SFU is a software suite which extends the Active
Directory schema, allowing various services to run out of AD for UNIX servers,
including (wait for it....) NIS. So far, it's working fairly well, with some
limitations. Here's a list of the gotchas I've encountered so far:

1) If you have an existing AD tree, you have to modify each individual user to
use SFU by opening their properties, choosing the "UNIX Attributes" tag, and
adding their UNIX account information (UID, GID, home, shell, and NIS domain).
Needless to say, this is tedious in large organizations. I'm lucky, I only
have about 100 users, I can't imagine someone with 10,000 going through this

2) Once the UNIX attributes have been set, you have to reset the password of
the user before you can sync their account up in NIS. Presumably because AD
stores passwords in a one way encryption, which is neither crypt nor MD5.
3) If you have/want multiple NIS domains, you'll have to have multiple NT
domains. Each NT domain gets mapped to a single NIS domain, which must be the
same name, which requires one PDC for each domain. You can, however, control
multiple domains through one AD forest, so the administration isn't too bad,
as long as you have extra machines for this purpose.

4) Not all of the common features of NIS are easily supported, but they are
all there. The passwd map is controlled through the user management GUI,
however all other maps (netgroup, hosts, ethers, etc.) must be edited on the
command line. Potentially a problem for organizations which want to
standardize on one management tool. It should be possible to extend the AD
schema to include these other maps, however I have not yet gotten to that.
5) The master NIS server *must* be the AD server. There is a tool for
migrating an existing master db into the AD server, but so far as I can tell,
this is only useful if you have an existing NIS network, with no existing AD

6) I encountered some problems getting the master to talk to the slaves
properly. I found you have to make sure, when you list the slave servers in
the SFU console, to supply their FQDN. Just using the hostname by itself lead
to inconsistent communication.

It was surprisingly easy to install and configure SFU, and since it was using
NIS it was trivial to set up on the Solaris servers. Unfortunately, SFU
doesn't support NIS+, so for those organizations requiring that, this isn't
the answer. But for a smallish shop like mine with a need to standardize
usernames and passwords on both the NT and UNIX sides of the house, it was the


Corbett Waddingham
Senior Systems Administrator
National Clearing Corp.
310-385-2257 phone
310-385-2225 fax
[email protected]

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Network Information Services (NIS) infrastructure has been enhanced to support netgroups in LDAP and client support for shadow passwords (encrypted passwords in the /etc/security/passwd file).


1999 SUMMARY NIS and Netgroups behaviour

From: Neal S. Pressman ([email protected])
Date: Tue Apr 13 1999 - 12:16:38 CDT

thanks to:

Ronald Loftin <[email protected]>
"David W. Blaine" <[email protected]>
"Salehi, Michael E" <[email protected]>
also thanks to:
Steve_Kilbane <[email protected]>
who didnt respond to my e-mail but has posted a summary of this problem
to the archives:

<--- snip --->
Turns out that netgroup works only with NIS running, and that using
it in .rhosts files is no problem. I'll also make the tentative
observation that the wisdom that follows applies certainly to netgroup
usage in .rhosts files, but not necessarily in other places (e.g.,
hosts.equiv, exports) because some of the rules I have to follow
(e.g., don't use capital letters) are rules I've seen violated in
other places without problems. That having been said:
</--- snip --->

my problem was simply that our Netgroup was in UCASE this is not a
problem for 2.6 or 2.7 only earlier versions.


<--- original question --->
-> I have an NIS question,
-> we have a mixed solaris environment mostly 2.5.1 and 2.6 with a couple of
-> solaris 7 boxes. we are trying to implement the use of netgroups for
-> /.rhosts and /etc/hosts.equiv . the man pages for all vers. of the OS
-> state this can be done with + and - @NETGROUP entries. we have been able
-> to get this to work on both 2.6 and solaris 7 but 2.5.1 doesnt seem to
-> work.
-> here are what my files have in them:
-> MELALL is a netgroup containing all of our trusted systems.
-> has anyone been able to get this to work on 2.5.1????
-> thanks,
-> Neal...
</--- original question --->

 Neal S. Pressman                        Raytheon Systems Company   
 System Administrator (MCAE)             528 Boston Post Road
 phone:  (978) 440-1273                  Sudbury, MA  01776
 fax:    (978) 440-2684                  ms 4-1-283
 E-mail:  [email protected] / [email protected]
                             .oooO  (___)



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