SUMMARY: cant gethostbyaddr Error

From: Rasana Atreya (
Date: Mon Jul 22 1996 - 13:35:44 CDT


I tried to set up NIS+ but when it did not work, I backed it out. But I still
kept getting the following in my /var/adm/messages file:
Jul 13 04:09:42 helena nnrpd[9561]: ? cant gethostbyaddr Error

I checked /etc/nsswitch.conf. It had reverted to nis (which works fine). But
for sone reason we still kept getting this error. So I just changed to hosts
line in this file to hosts: file dns

This cleared up the problem, though I'm still not sure why. Because NIS does
work on other machines...

I tried sys_unconfig either, but it did not help.

Thanks a lot to the following people for their hints: (Vasantha Narayanan)
"Miguel Marques" <miguel@YorkU.CA>
Rahul Roy <>
Justin Young <>

And a related problem was that:
# /etc/init.d/rpc stop
Missing ]
Miguel Marques suggested I do this in bourne shell.

Please see complete responses below.

From: (Vasantha Narayanan)

It looks like a hostname resolution problem. Check the /etc/nsswitch.conf
file to see what you have done about dns.

From: "Miguel Marques" <miguel@YorkU.CA>

This is the file appropriate for when you are running nis.
You probably want /etc/nsswitch.files which sets it up to use files.
Also if you are using DNS add dns to the hosts: line in that file.

> # /etc/init.d/rpc stop {did not work, says Missing ] }

sh /etc/init.d/rpc stop

> # rm -f /etc/.rootkey
> # rm -rf /var/nis/*
> # /etc/init.d/rpc start {did not work, says Missing ] }

From: Rahul Roy <>

Did you try to run the "sys-unconfig" utility at all ?? It allows you to
back out of NIS+...

You should never back out of NIS+ by editing files - always bound to
miss out files which leaves the system in an unstable state.
Try this :
vi /etc/nsswitch.conf
and see the hosts section....should be no reference to nis *at all*...if
there is nis/nisplus there - remove it !!!
From: Justin Young <>

You don't have DNS enabled. You probably need to check your
/etc/nsswitch.conf and make sure you have an entry which says

hosts files dns

or something like that rather than hosts files

or if you're running braindead NIS

hosts nis dns or whatever


hosts nisplus dns

~ Rasana Atreya Voice: (415) 476-3623 ~
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