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Linux Journal: Tux Knows It's Nice to Share, Part 3

Feb 25, 2001, 14:44 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)

"Welcome back, everyone, to another episode of the SysAdmin's Corner, where we discuss all things Linux, dig deep below the surface of our systems and really get to know the soul of the machine itself. <insert appropriate mood music here> When last we met on this very corner, we were mucking about with file sharing, specifically NFS. As you all noticed, NFS has some rather annoying problems when it comes to permissions. The most annoying thing about NFS is it assumes a user's name and UID on one machine matches exactly the user's name and UID on another machine, which means you either have to have matching password and group files on all your servers or, somehow, anonymous access is sufficient for all your needs."

"The answer to this problem is NIS (well, one answer, anyhow). NIS allows us to share databases of critical system information across our network, information like users, groups, e-mail aliases and other things, without having to maintain that information on every server. Like NFS, NIS is a child of Sun Microsystems and, also like NFS, goes back to the 1980s. At that time, it was called Yellow Pages, but since Yellow Pages happens to be a registered trademark, the name was changed to avoid legal troubles. Nevertheless, the echoes of those YP days is still with us when we deal with NIS. As you will soon discover during this section, the letters "yp" show up in configuration files and commands alike."

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