Jump to contentJump to page navigation: previous page [access key p]/next page [access key n]
documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Documentation / Security and Hardening Guide / Authentication / Using NIS
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15 SP5

3 Using NIS

When multiple Unix systems in a network access common resources, it becomes imperative that all user and group identities are the same for all machines in that network. The network should be transparent to users: their environments should not vary, regardless of which machine they are using. This can be done by NIS and NFS services.

NIS (Network Information Service) can be described as a database-like service that provides access to the contents of /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, and /etc/group across networks. NIS can also be used for other purposes (making the contents of files like /etc/hosts or /etc/services available, for example), but this is beyond the scope of this introduction. People often refer to NIS as YP, because it works like the network's yellow pages.

3.1 Configuring NIS servers

For configuring NIS servers, see the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Administration Guide.

3.2 Configuring NIS clients

To use NIS on a workstation, do the following:

  1. Start YaST › Network Services › NIS Client.

  2. Activate the Use NIS button.

  3. Enter the NIS domain. This is a domain name given by your administrator or a static external IP address received by DHCP.

    Setting domain and address of a NIS server
    Figure 3.1: Setting domain and address of a NIS server
  4. Enter your NIS servers and separate their addresses by spaces. If you do not know your NIS server, click Find to let YaST search for any NIS servers in your domain. Depending on the size of your local network, this may be a time-consuming process. Broadcast asks for a NIS server in the local network after the specified servers fail to respond.

  5. Depending on your local installation, you may also want to activate the automounter. This option also installs additional software if required.

  6. If you do not want other hosts to be able to query which server your client is using, go to the Expert settings and disable Answer Remote Hosts. By checking Broken Server, the client is enabled to receive replies from a server communicating through an unprivileged port. For further information, see man ypbind.

  7. Click Finish to save them and return to the YaST control center. Your client is now configured with NIS.