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Administering NIS+ Databases (solstice)

NIS+ provides a central store of information for network resources such as hosts, users, and mailboxes. NIS+ replaces NIS ( Network Information Service) and provides these enhancements:

  An organizational framework that is simpler to administer in large companies.
  Improved security.
  Improved distribution time to propagate changes through the network.

In addition, the Solaris 2.x environment provides a new name service switch file, /etc/nsswitch.conf, that lets you use several different network information services at once. The /etc/nsswitch.conf file also lets you specify which service provides which type of information. In previous SunOS releases, selection of the name service was hard-coded into the services, which made it difficult to switch to a new name service. The /etc /nsswitch.conf file defines the order in which local files and network databases are searched for information. Describing how to set up NIS+ is beyond the scope of this book.

Solstice Host Manager

In previous Solaris releases, you may have used Admintool to manage server and client support. In the Solaris 2.5 and later releases, you must use the Solstice Host Manager tool, which offers ease of use and provides support for the following name services:

  NIS+ tables
  NIS maps
  Local /etc files

Because the Solstice Host Manager is sold as a separate product, describing how to use Host Manager is beyond the scope of this book. The information in the following sections is provided to help you evaluate whether the Solstice Host Manager product is useful in your system administration environment.

Host Manager is a graphical user interface that enables you to add and maintain server and client support on a network. With a name service like NIS+, you can manage system information in a centralized manner so that important system information, such as host names, does not have to be duplicated on every system on the network.

Host Manager enables you to:

  Add and modify support
  Update system types
  Convert system types
  Add and remove OS services
  Set up remote installation services
  Queue tasks
  Set root passwords
  Enable scripts
  Add a multihomed host

The following sections provide a brief description of each of these capabilities.

Add and Modify Support

Host Manager enables you to add and modify support for the following Solaris system types:

  Solaris AutoClient systems
  Solaris diskless clients
  Solaris stand-alone systems
  Solaris OS servers
  JavaStations (modify support only)

Update System Types

Host Manager initially marks the system types of previously added systems as generic. You can, however, choose Update System Types from the File menu to probe previously added systems and determine their system types automatically. If Host Manager cannot determine the system type (for example, if the system is not running the Solaris software), the systems remain marked as generic.

NOTE:  Systems running Solaris 2.5 or later must also have the Solstice AdminSuite software installed to enable Host Manager to automatically update the system type.

The system type information is stored in the bootparams file in the local /etc files or a name service database. Host Manager either modifies an existing bootparams entry or adds a new one such as the following example for a Solaris stand-alone system named castle:

castle: boottyp=:st

Convert System Types

Host Manager enables you to convert one system type to another. You can make the following conversions:

  Stand-alone system to an AutoClient system or OS server
  Dataless system to an AutoClient system or OS server
  AutoClient system to a stand-alone system
  Generic system to a stand-alone or AutoClient system or to an OS server

Add and Remove OS Services

A Solaris OS server is a server that provides OS services to support client systems. By using Host Manager, you can add support for an OS server or convert a stand-alone system to an OS server.

For each platform group and Solaris release that you want to support, you must add the particular OS service to the OS server. For example, if you want to support SPARC Sun4m systems running the Solaris 2.4 release, you must add Sun4m/Solaris 2.4 OS services to the OS server. You would also still need to add OS services to support SPARC Sun4c systems or x86 systems running the Solaris 2.4 release, because they are different platform groups.

You must have access to the appropriate Solaris CD image to add OS services.

NOTE:  Although Host Manager enables you to add support for diskless clients running the SunOS 4.x release, you cannot add SunOS 4.x OS services using Host Manager. You must use the install4x commands to add OS services to an OS server, and then use Host Manager to add support for the SunOS 4.x client.

You can remove OS services from an OS server by using Host Manager. For example, if you no longer want to support SPARC Sun4m systems running the Solaris 2.4 release, you can remove these OS services from the server by using Host manager.

Set Up Remote Installation Services

Host Manager enables you to set up systems to provide Solaris 2.x installation services for other systems on the network. You can set up the following types of installation services on a system:

  An install server — A system on the network that provides a Solaris CD image (either from a CD-ROM drive or the copy on the hard disk) for other systems to install from.
  A boot server — A system that provides boot information to other systems on the network. The boot server and the install server are usually the same system.
  A profile server — A system that contains JumpStart files for systems to perform a custom JumpStart installation.

NOTE:  A boot server and install server are typically the same system. However, if the system to be installed is on a different subnet than the install server, a boot server is required on that subnet.

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