NIS is a protocol developed by Sun to allow one to defer user authentication to a server. The server software is in the ypserv package, and the client software is in the yp-tools package. ypbind-mt is also available, which is a multi threaded version of the client daemon.
Note: obviously this article is far from finished. hopefully in the future that will change, but in the meantime check the More resources section.
How to set up a NIS client
The first step is to install the tools that you need. This provides the configuration files and general tools needed to use NIS.
# pacman -S yp-tools ypbind-mt
Next put your NIS domain name into the file /etc/defaultdomain (create the file if it doesn't exist).
Now edit the /etc/yp.conf file and add your ypserver or nis server.
Start the rpcbind and ypbind daemons (add them to your rc.conf file if you want it to start automatically).
# /etc/rc.d/rpcbind start # /etc/rc.d/ypbind start
To test the setup so far you can run the command yptest:
If it works you will, among other things, see the contents of the NIS user database (which is printed in the same format as /etc/passwd).
To actually use NIS to log in you have to edit /etc/nsswitch.conf. Modify the lines for passwd, group and shadow to say the following:
passwd: compat group: compat shadow: compat
Finally, for NIS clients you have to add at least a special line to each of the files /etc/passwd, /etc/group, and /etc/shadow:
# echo "+::::::" >> /etc/passwd # echo "+:::" >> /etc/group # echo "+::::::::" >> /etc/shadow
And then do not forget
# /etc/rc.d/ypbind restart
See section 7.5 of The Linux NIS HOWTO for further information on configuring /etc/nsswitch.conf.