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Setting up NIS

  2 minute read.

Last Modified 2023-05-23 16:28 EDT

NIS (Network Information Service) is a client–server directory service protocol. It assists in distributing system configuration data between computers on a network. This data can include user and host names.

A NIS system maintains and distributes a central directory. This central directory contains user and group information. It also contains other text-based tables of information. These tables can include host names and e-mail aliases. In FreeBSD, the file /etc/passwd contains the list of users. The file /etc/shadow contains the authentication hashes. NIS adds another global user list to identify users on any NIS domain client.
NIS is limited in scalability and security. For modern networks, LDAP has replaced NIS.

To configure NIS, go to Directory Services > NIS.


Enter the NIS Domain name and list any NIS Servers (host names or IP addresses). Press Enter to separate server entries. Configure the remaining options as needed:

  • Secure Mode : Select to have ypbind(8) refuse to bind to any NIS server not running as root on a TCP port over 1024.
  • Manycast : Select for ypbind to bind to the fastest responding server.
  • Enable : Leave the checkbox clear to disable the configuration without deleting it.

Click SAVE to save configuration settings.

Click REBUILD DIRECTORY SERVICE CACHE to resync the cache if it becomes out of sync. Or if fewer users than expected are available in the permissions editors.

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