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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, 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. 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 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

       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+
			      installation time. See nisinit(1M) or nisclient(1M).

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

       client_info	      Contains configuration information, for example, 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)

       .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 check-
			      pointed, this file will be deleted. See the discussion  of  the  -C
			      option of nisping(1M).

       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 space.

       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) command.

       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 subdi-
			      rectories within this directory, the  database  for  the	table  is
			      stored in the file, table_name.subdirectory.

       data/table_name.log    Contains	the  database  log for the table table_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 similar to other table databases. The corre-
			      sponding 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 access.

       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

       cp(1), crontab(1), mv(1), nis(1), nis_cachemgr(1M), niscat(1), nismatch(1),  nistbladm(1),
       rm(1), cron(1M), nisclient(1M), nisinit(1M), nislog(1M), nisping(1M), nisprefadm(1M), nis-
       showcache(1M), nis_objects(3NSL)

       NIS+ might not be supported in future releases of the Solaris Operating system.	Tools  to
       aid the migration from NIS+ to LDAP are available in the current Solaris release. For more
       information, visit http://www.sun.com/directory/nisplus/transition.html.

SunOS 5.11				   18 Dec 2001				      nisfiles(4)
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