SUMMARY: Resolver without Yellow-Pages/NIS - how to ??

From: Ole Holm Nielsen (
Date: Mon Oct 22 1990 - 08:42:53 CDT

My original question:

> I have tried enabling the resolver on a machine that doesn't run NIS
> (it's a SunOS 4.1 system). Nslookup works beautifully, but ping,
> telnet, ftp and so on do not seem to inquire the nameserver.
> I know the makedbm -b flag when running NIS, but how do I do it
> without NIS ???

I had a lot of friendly and detailed responses. The bottom line is that you
need to invoke shared libraries that use nameserver lookup rather than
the /etc/hosts lookup that is the default. This is a rather involved process
(in my humble opinion), but many people have gotten it to work.

If you've got access to a sun-spots archive, here is a note from Aydin Edguer
> Please read Sun-Spots Digest Volume 9 Number 136 and Volume 9 Number 176.
> You can obtain them from ( in the directory
> "/sun-spots" in the files "v9n136" and "v9n176".

If you feel this isn't enough, I'm willing to mail my accumulated responses
(about 60 kB) to interested parties. Lots of people have given me their
procedures - thanks to:
Greg Earle (earle@poseur.JPL.NASA.GOV)
Doug Neuhauser (
William Ang (
Mark D. Baushke (mdb@ESD.3Com.COM)

If you want to bypass the construction procedure, here is a generous offer
from Richard Dunbar (
> You need to installed a shared library that supports the resolver routines.
> You can get them via anonymous ftp from in
> pub/sun-fixes/gsfc/{3,4}.Z Also get lib.msg
> (taken from UUNET) in the same directory

Now, one disadvantage is that with the resolver-based libraries, you loose
the info hardcoded in /etc/hosts. However, there is a workaround for that
as well from Richard Dunbar:
> Under SunOS, you do loose the host information in /etc/hosts. The good news
> is that you can use the HOSTALIASES variable to specify a file for aliases
> (not /etc/hosts). Check hostname (7) for details.

The best way is probably the ULTRIX way (ARE YOU LISTENING, SUN ??), where
the lookup is configured by a file in /etc/<something>, which allows you
to specify which lookups you want, and in which order you want them.

For the time being, I probably prefer not to mess around with the resolver-
based libraries. I might in stead use nslookup(8C) in a wrapper around
telnet and ftp, which is our main use of the name service anyhow.

Thanks also to:

With best regards,

Ole H. Nielsen
Laboratory of Applied Physics, Building 307
Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark
Telephone: (+45) 42 88 24 88 ext. 3187
Telefax: (+45) 45 93 23 99

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