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How NIS Clients Bind to the NIS Server

A system running the Solaris operating environment typically becomes an NIS client at installation, although it could be configured as one later. A client is only required to supply two pieces of information: 1) the domain name it is joining and 2) how to locate the NIS server(s).

The domain name of the NIS client must exactly match the domain name of the NIS server to establish a connection. Unlike DNS domain names, NIS client names are case sensitive. A Solaris system can belong to both an NIS and a DNS domain. These domains could have the same or different names. The connection from client to server is referred to as binding which takes place at boot time. An NIS client can potentially bind to either an NIS master or an NIS slave server. There are two methods for locating a NIS server to bind to.

  • Broadcast method Send out a broadcast message and bind to the first server that responds.

  • Specified Server method Specify a server or list of servers to bind to.

The Broadcast method only works if there is an NIS server on the same subnet. The Specified Server method works regardless of where the NIS server resides. "NIS High Availability Architecture Features" on page 19, discusses the pros and cons of using each method.

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