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13.2. NIS Versus NIS+

NIS and NIS+ share little more than their name and a common goal. NIS+ is structured entirely differently from NIS. Instead of a flat namespace with disjoint NIS domains, NIS+ uses a hierarchical namespace similar to that of DNS. Instead of maps, so-called tables are used that are made up of rows and columns, in which each row represents an object in the NIS+ database and the columns cover properties of the objects that NIS+ knows and cares about. Each table for a given NIS+ domain comprises those of its parent domains. In addition, an entry in a table may contain a link to another table. These features make it possible to structure information in many ways.

NIS+ additionally supports secure and encrypted RPC, which helps greatly to solve the security problems of NIS.

Traditional NIS has an RPC Version number of 2, while NIS+ is Version 3. At the time we're writing, there isn't yet a good working implementation of NIS+ for Linux, so it isn't covered here.

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