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nisfiles(4)                      File Formats                      nisfiles(4)

       nisfiles - NIS+ database files and directory structure


       The Network Information Service Plus (NIS+) uses a memory based, repli-
       cated database. This database uses a  set  of  files  in  the  /var/nis
       directory  for  checkpointing  to  table  storage and for maintaining a
       transaction log. Additionally, the NIS+ server and client use files  in
       this directory to store binding and state information.

       The  NIS+ service implements an authentication and authorization system
       that is built upon Secure RPC. In this implementation, the service uses
       a  table named cred.org_dir.domain-name to store the public and private
       keys of principals that are authorized to access the NIS+ namespace. It
       stores group access information in the subdomain groups_dir.domain-name
       as   group  objects.  These  two  tables  appear  as   files   in   the
       /var/nis/data directory on the NIS+ server.

       Unlike  the  previous  versions  of the network information service, in
       NIS+, the information in the tables is initially loaded into  the  ser-
       vice  from  the   ASCII files on the server and then updated using NIS+
       utilities. See  nistbladm(1).  Some  sites  may  wish  to  periodically
       regenerate the  ASCII files for archival purposes. To do this, a script
       should be added in the crontab(1) of the server that lists these tables
       and creates the   ASCII file from the result.

       Note that except for the NIS_COLDSTART and NIS_SHARED_DIRCACHE file, no
       other files should be manipulated by commands such as cp(1),  mv(1)  or
       rm(1).  The  transaction  log  file keeps logs of all changes made, and
       hence the files cannot be manipulated independently.

       The files described below are stored in the /var/nis directory:

       NIS_COLDSTART           Contains NIS+ directory objects that are to  be
                               preloaded  into the NIS+ cache at startup time.
                               This file is usually created at NIS+  installa-
                               tion time.  See nisinit(1M) or nisclient(1M).

       NIS_SHARED_DIRCACHE     Contains  the  current  cache  of NIS+ bindings
                               being maintained by the cache manager. The con-
                               tents can be viewed with nisshowcache(1M).

       client_info             Contains  configuration  information, for exam-
                               ple, preferred servers, options, and the  like,
                               for   nis_cachemgr(1M)  and  potentially  other
                               NIS+ clients on the system. It  is  manipulated
                               by the nisprefadm(1M) command.

       .pref_servers           A  cached copy of preferred server information.
                               It is maintained by  nis_cachemgr. Do not  edit
                               this file manually.

       trans.log               Contains  a  transaction log that is maintained
                               by the NIS+ service. It can be viewed using the
                               nislog(1M)  command.  This file contains holes.
                               Its apparent size may be a lot higher than  its
                               actual  size. There is only one transaction log
                               per server.

       data.dict               A dictionary that is used by the NIS+  database
                               to  locate  its  files.  It  is  created by the
                               default NIS+ database package.

       data.dict.log           The log file for the database dictionary.  When
                               the  server  is checkpointed, this file will be
                               deleted. See the discussion of the -C option of

       data                    Contains databases that the server uses.

       data/root.object        On root servers, this file contains a directory
                               object that describes  the  root  of  the  name

       data/parent.object      On root servers, this file contains a directory
                               object that  describes  the  parent  namespace.
                               This  file  is created by the  nisinit(1M) com-

       data/table_name         For each table in the directory there is a file
                               with  the same name that stores the information
                               about that table. If there  are  subdirectories
                               within this directory, the database for the ta-
                               ble is stored in the file, table_name.subdirec-

       data/table_name.log     Contains  the  database  log for the table  ta-
                               ble_name. The log file maintains the  state  of
                               individual  transactions to each database. When
                               a database has been checkpointed, that is,  all
                               changes  have been made to the  data/table_name
                               stable storage, this log file will be deleted.

                               Currently,  NIS+  does  not  automatically   do
                               checkpointing.  The  system  administrator  may
                               want to do nisping-C  operations  periodically,
                               perhaps once a day, to checkpoint the log file.
                               This can be done either through a cron(1M) job,
                               or manually.

       data/root_dir           On  root servers, this file stores the database
                               associated with the root directory. It is simi-
                               lar to other table databases. The corresponding
                               log file is called root_dir.log.

       data/cred.org_dir       Table containing the credentials of  principals
                               in this NIS+ domain.

       data/groups_dir         Table   containing   the   group  authorization
                               objects  needed  by  NIS+  to  authorize  group

       data/serving_list       Contains  a  list  of all NIS+ directories that
                               are being served by the  NIS+  server  on  this
                               server.   When  this server is added or deleted
                               from any NIS+ directory object,  this  file  is
                               updated by the server.

       cp(1),  crontab(1),  mv(1),  nis(1),  nis_cachemgr(1M), niscat(1), nis-
       match(1), nistbladm(1), rm(1),  cron(1M),  nisclient(1M),  nisinit(1M),
       nislog(1M),      nisping(1M),     nisprefadm(1M),     nisshowcache(1M),

       NIS+ might not be supported in future releases of the SolarisTM Operat-
       ing  Environment.  Tools  to  aid  the  migration from NIS+ to LDAP are
       available in the Solaris 9 operating environment. For more information,
       visit http://www.sun.com/directory/nisplus/transition.html.

SunOS 5.10                        18 Dec 2001                      nisfiles(4)