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File Formats                                          nisfiles(4)

     nisfiles - NIS+ database files and directory structure


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

     The NIS+ service implements an authentication and authoriza-
     tion system that is built upon Secure RPC. In this implemen-
     tation, 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 ser-
     vice,  in  NIS+,  the information in the tables is initially
     loaded into the service 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 manipu-
     lated by commands such as cp(1), mv(1) or rm(1).  The  tran-
     saction  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  direc-

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

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

SunOS 5.9           Last change: 18 Dec 2001                    1

File Formats                                          nisfiles(4)

           Contains configuration information, for example,  pre-
           ferred   servers,   options,   and   the   like,   for
           nis_cachemgr(1M) and potentially other NIS+ clients on
           the  system.  It  is manipulated by the nisprefadm(1M)

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

           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.

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

           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 nisping(1M).

     data  Contains databases that the server uses.

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

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

           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  direc-
           tory,  the  database  for  the  table is stored in the
           file, table_name.subdirectory.

           Contains the database log for the  table   table_name.
           The  log  file maintains the state of individual tran-
           sactions to each database. When a  database  has  been
           checkpointed,  that  is, all changes have been made to

SunOS 5.9           Last change: 18 Dec 2001                    2

File Formats                                          nisfiles(4)

           the  data/table_name stable  storage,  this  log  file
           will be deleted.

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

           On root servers, this file stores the database associ-
           ated  with  the root directory. It is similar to other
           table databases. The corresponding log file is  called

           Table containing the credentials of principals in this
           NIS+ domain.

           Table  containing  the  group  authorization   objects
           needed by NIS+ to authorize group access.

           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),  nis-
     cat(1),    nismatch(1),   nistbladm(1),   rm(1),   cron(1M),
     nisclient(1M),   nisinit(1M),    nislog(1M),    nisping(1M),
     nisprefadm(1M), nisshowcache(1M), nis_objects(3NSL)

     NIS+ might not  be  supported  in  future  releases  of  the
     SolarisTM  Operating Environment. Tools to aid the migration
     from NIS+ to LDAP are available in the Solaris  9  operating
     environment.      For      more      information,      visit

SunOS 5.9           Last change: 18 Dec 2001                    3