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Linux NIS / NIS+ Tutorial
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8.4. The nsswitch.conf File

The Network Services switch file /etc/nsswitch.conf determines the order of lookups performed when a certain piece of information is requested, just like the /etc/host.conf file which determines the way host lookups are performed. For example, the line

    hosts: files nisplus dns

specifies that host lookup functions should first look in the local /etc/hosts file, followed by a NIS+ lookup and finally through the domain name service (/etc/resolv.conf and named), at which point if no match is found an error is returned.

A good /etc/nsswitch.conf file for NIS+ is:

#
# /etc/nsswitch.conf
#
# An example Name Service Switch config file. This file should be
# sorted with the most-used services at the beginning.
#
# The entry '[NOTFOUND=return]' means that the search for an
# entry should stop if the search in the previous entry turned
# up nothing. Note that if the search failed due to some other reason
# (like no NIS server responding) then the search continues with the
# next entry.
#
# Legal entries are:
#
#       nisplus                 Use NIS+ (NIS version 3)
#       nis                     Use NIS (NIS version 2), also called YP
#       dns                     Use DNS (Domain Name Service)
#       files                   Use the local files
#       db                      Use the /var/db databases
#       [NOTFOUND=return]       Stop searching if not found so far
#

passwd:     compat
group:      compat
shadow:     compat

passwd_compat: nisplus
group_compat:  nisplus
shadow_compat: nisplus

hosts:      nisplus files dns

services:   nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
networks:   nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
protocols:  nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
rpc:        nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
ethers:     nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
netmasks:   nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
netgroup:   nisplus
bootparams: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
publickey:  nisplus
automount:  files
aliases:    nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
Linux NIS / NIS+ Tutorial
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