SUMMARY- Moving from Files to NIS

From: Craig Gruneberg (
Date: Fri Jun 28 1996 - 14:09:22 CDT

My original request was:
I am converting a small network of Solaris 2.x machines to NIS
due to being part of the "ever expanding universe".

I am looking for some good FAQs or reference material on same
to exclude Hal Stern's book on NIS, which I have.

Noticed that most of the Answerbook stuff with Solaris 2.4 is
NIS+ related. Looks like ypinit turns clients into NIS clients
fairly painlessly and I thought I could make a master server just
by answering "NIS" when prompted for the name service during the
install of SOL2.5.

Can anyone send me some pointers on making this conversion or
just offer some tips? Upgrading to Sol 2.5.

Thanks for all the input!

After being directed by more than one of you
to NSKIT, I located a CD with it on and I am now installing it.

It was interesting to see that one of the respondents would like to
see me start off with NIS+ but I am too squeamish! Read too many
bad things about it- maybe from people converting from NIS and not
those in my situation going from files to some Network Information
Service routine.

The replies follow:

>From Thu Jun 27 16:18 EDT 1996

Check this out: This is an awesome and _concise_ reference:


From: Fuad Khalid <fmrco!lagoon!>

On search for a Nskit 2.0. There is a ascii and ps format
document. Solaris does not have support for server NIS. You have to
install the Nskit. It is free also, which is also a nice thing.

From: Jay Morgan <>

Something that may be of help. Sun's NSKit will allow your Solaris 2.x machines
be NIS servers (you probably already know about this, but just in case...)

From: "Matt Hill" <>

i would suggest at this point, if you have no experience with either,
to forgo NIS and go for NIS+ instead. NIS+ has many more features
and is generally more robust than NIS. it is also by far more
secure. the best argument for NOT going with NIS+ would be that it's
different from NIS and a transition would be required, which in your
case does not seem to be the case. ;-)

note that NIS+ comes with solaris 2.5, and will get installed
automatically. NIS does not. you would need to get the "naming
services transition kit" from sun to use a solaris 2.5 machine as an
NIS server. answering "NIS" or "NIS+" when suninstall asks you what
name service to use will make that machine an NIS or NIS+ *client*,
not a server. to make a machine a nis server you need to use the
script "nisserver." it's documented in the man pages and the
answerbook. not really as painful as it looks, though. ;-)

From: (Don Catey)

Surprise!!! Solaris does not support being a Master or Slave NIS server. It
will only support being a client.

Earlier today I replied to a request for info about making a slave under Solaris
with the following:

> Someone once told me that there is unsupported documentation
> for setting up YP servers (master and slave) under Solaris.
> They said it was somewhere on the SunSolve On-Line web page.
> If you have a contract, check it out:

This is the only action I can see, without adding a separate machine running
SunOS 4.x as your master, or setting up an SGI or HP machine as a master (God

I wish I had the time to find out more about this.

From: (Jeff Popp )

Solaris 2.5 does not have NIS (not NIS+) as part of its
generic install. You have to load separate packages.

The NIS packages are:


If you want the answerbook, you can also load


I even have this set up so I can build an NIS slave or master
from my jumpstart server.

From: (Jim Craven)
Hope this is of help, I found it invaluable




SunService Tip Sheet for Sun NSKIT (Name Services Transition Kit)
NSKIT Versions 1.0 and 1.2
Revision 1.6
Date: February 5, 1996
Mail to: support@network.East.Sun.COM

1.0: About NSKIT
.... The whole tip sheet was here. If anyone wants it, email me.


From: Scott McBain <>

The "ypinit" shipped with solaris 2 only supports the yp client side.
You'll need to load NSkit (Name Services Transition kit) to get
the Sun YP server stuff. It's shipped with Solaris2.5 server edition
and is on the 2.5 Server Supplement CD. It's easy to use.

From: (Steven Williams)

One warning for the master you need to get NSKit from Sun (try
its there somewhere), it gives you binaries necessary for running a yp server.
BTW the command for setting up a yp master is "ypinit -m".

From: (Brent Bice)

> Noticed that most of the Answerbook stuff with Solaris 2.4 is
> NIS+ related. Looks like ypinit turns clients into NIS clients
> fairly painlessly and I thought I could make a master server just
> by answering "NIS" when prompted for the name service during the
> install of SOL2.5.
   The install *might* assume you want the machine to be an NIS+ master,
instead of an NIS master -- you might need to be a bit careful here.

   Also... The clients don't need to have ypinit run on 'em. They
just need you to run ypbind, and at least one server must be running on
the same subnet for them to connect to. The ypinit stuff only needs to
be run on the NIS servers.

   Typically, I've had to run ypinit once on the master to build the
first NIS maps (assumin' none of this was done during the install of the
OS). This is the ypinit -m command. Then, on each machine I want to act
as a slave server, I do a ypinit -s (copies over all the maps).

   Lastly, if you setup any slave servers, don't forget to add them to the
ypservers NIS map or they won't get updated when something on the master

   It wasn't clear to me if you were already running NIS on SUNOS
machines that you were upgrading to 2.x or not. If you've already got
NIS goin', then none of the above will probably be new (grin).

   And if you're gonna be running NIS, not NIS+, on the Solaris 2.x
machines, you need the SUNWnisktr and SUNWnisktu packages installed on
the machines that will be NIS servers.

From: (Sean McInerney)

 There is an NIS kit cdrom that came with your 2.5 distribution. It
 has SolarNet, the SA answerbook, and also Naming Services Transition
 Kit 1.2. Load this on the nis master and Stern's book is all I ever

 I was burned badly by NIS+ with Solaris 2.2 and have been to gun-shy
 to go back just yet....

From: (Gregory M Polanski)

There is an NIS answerbook too. Is part of the NIS install.

When I upgraded from SunOS NIS to Solaris NIS, I had
to make a directory for passwd and shadow that was outside

I chose to put all of my automount maps there too. I tweaked the
/var/yp/Makefile to support these additional files.

One reason was that every box in the network except the master
can have local auto_* files. By putting all maps in a separate
directory, the NIS master can have the same customizations.
(It is the same reasoning as used for passwd and shadow.)

nismaster% pwd
isildur% ls -l
total 132
drwxr-xr-x 3 root other 1024 Jun 27 11:34 ./
drwxrwxr-x 27 root sys 3072 Jun 27 16:23 ../
drwxr-xr-x 2 root other 512 May 28 10:03 SCCS/
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 8220 Jun 27 11:34
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 9378 Jun 25 09:27 passwd
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 5176 Jun 25 09:27 shadow
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 127 May 28 10:03 yp_auto_direct
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 5216 Jun 27 11:31 yp_auto_home
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 255 May 28 10:03 yp_auto_master
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 1704 May 28 10:03 yp_auto_project
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 941 Jun 10 12:46 yp_auto_src
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 3867 Jun 24 16:29 yp_auto_tools


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