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Managing NFS and NIS (Nutshell Handbooks) [Paperback]

Hal Stern
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)


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Book Description

January 8, 2001 0937175757 978-0937175750 1st

A modern computer system that is not part of a network is an anomaly. But managing a network and getting it to perform well can be a problem. This book describes two tools that are absolutely essential to distributed computing environments: the Network Filesystem (NFS) and the Network Information System (formerly called the "yellow pages" or YP).

The Network Filesystem, developed by Sun Microsystems, is fundamental to most UNIX networks. It allows systems ranging from PCs running DOS to UNIX workstations to large mainframes to access each other's files transparently. It is the standard method for sharing files between different computer systems.

As popular as NFS is, it is a "black box" for most users and administrators. This book provides a comprehensive discussion of how to plan, set up, and debug an NFS network. It is the only book we're aware of that discusses NFS and network performance tuning. This book also covers the NFS automounter, network security issues, diskless workstations, and PC/NFS.

NFS isn't really complete without its companion, NIS. NIS provides a distributed database service for managing the most important administrative files, such as the passwd file and the hosts file. NIS centralizes administration of commonly replicated files, letting you make a single change to the database rather than making changes on every system on the network.

This book tells you how to set up and use NIS to simplify network management. It also tells you how to use NIS to manage your own database applications, ranging from a simple telephone list to controlling access to network services.

If you are managing a network of UNIX systems, or are thinking of setting up a UNIX network, you can't afford to overlook this book.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cross-platform file sharing under Network File System (NFS) is so reliable that in most organizations, it works pretty much unattended. Ditto for the directory services that Network Information System (NIS) provides. Managing NFS and NIS is for people who want to know more about how NFS and NIS do their vital work, and how to make them operate in unusual circumstances. Focused on the Solaris and Linux implementations of NFS and NIS, this book is ideal for the Unix system administrator who's familiar with TCP/IP networking and everyday system administration. The second edition of this book eliminates much of the programming material that appeared in its predecessor and replaces it with information on NFS 3, its support of IPsec and Kerberos security, and its operation under Solaris 8.

This is a blue O'Reilly book, packed to the gunwales with information of interest to people in a hurry to optimize their systems and resolve difficulties. It's easy to locate the passage you need via the index or through the table of contents, and most entries provide a great mix of how-to material (in the form of input-and-output listings) and explanatory text (expert commentary, often with notes on applicable variations). If there's a command, option, or configuration parameter associated with NIS or NFS, you'll find documentation of it here. --David Wall

Topics covered: Network File System (NFS) and Network Information System (NIS) for Unix machines, especially Solaris (through version 8) and Linux (through version 2.2). Auto mounting, security, diskless workstations, and performance tuning are among the many details the authors address. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"If you administrate a collection of Unix systems of any flavour then buy this book. There will always be something of interest that will make your Unix network easier to use and manage - guaranteed. If your network involves NT interconnectivity then still buy it but read the opinion on PCNFS verses SAMBA with an open mind." - Jon Wilks, Cvu, June 2002 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks
  • Paperback: 433 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates; 1st edition (January 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937175757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937175750
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,273,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
(8)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A note from one of the co-authors March 2, 2004
Format:Paperback
Hello, My name is Mike Eisler, and I am one of the
co-authors of Managing NFS and NIS, Second Edition.
I'm writing this note to offer additional information
to potential readers.
At the time I submitted this note, most of the
customer reviews for this book referred to the first edition.
One of the reviews states that the book is focused on NFS
version 2 over UDP and the old style automounter.
Actually, you'll find the second edition of our book
is more modern. New topics in the second edition
include NFS version 3, NFS over TCP, modern autofs-based
automounters, Kerberos V5 authentication for NFS, NFS Access
Control Lists (ACLs), and client side fail over.
Another difference is that first edition of this book
used SunOS 4.x as a reference for examples. The second
edition uses Solaris 8.
The second edition provides information you won't find
in NFS product documentation, such as using tools like ethereal
to debug NFS problems. This book will give you the benefit of
insights from people who probably wrote some of the code for
your clients and servers. You may find (and I hope) that
it will save you the trouble reporting a problem to
your vendor's customer support line.
Thank you for considering our book.
Was this review helpful to you?
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable tool for UNIX systems administrators August 5, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was formerly the UNIX Systems Administrator of
large company where we had several variants of the UNIX operating system employed.

We had a very robust NIS and NFS environment with hundreds of NFS mount points and a dozen or more NIS maps.

The text and examples of this book enabled me to better maintain and update our environment. The practical guidelines for NIS map and application building provided concise information that was easily implemented.

In the area of NFS administration, the book provided valuable performance and tuning information, as well as diagnostic information to determine where problems could lie.

Additionally, I enjoyed the sections on Networking Fundamentals and NFS Design and operation. These were a nice refresher for knowledge previously attained.

While no one book can give all the answers to real world problems, this one at least shows practical application whereby a professional can apply the fundamentals to solve their own problems.

Overall, as a UNIX systems administrator, I found this book to be a "MUST HAVE" item for the professionals' bookshelf.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Helps both beginners and experienced February 15, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Does not leave out essential information. Gives useful examples where needed. Though not a beginner to Unix, I was not very familiar with NIS and NFS. I was very pleased to find a Unix book that gave me all I wanted to know in an understandable format. This is not always the case with the O'reilly books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NFS, NIS and automounter, a great combonation! November 19, 2002
By Doug M
Format:Paperback
Anyone who has ever administered a network of at least 3-4 servers (if not more) will find individually updating accounts, software and such to be a burden. I found myself in this situation not too long ago, and then I picked up this book, and found the answers I was looking for.
Most Unix admins have heard of NFS and NIS but might not have considered using them together. This book gives a very thorough discussion each topic, how to set it up, how to deal with advanced issues, and how to troubleshoot. Admins will really develop an appreciation for how useful these tools can be, especially when used together.
Though LDAP is gaining prominence, a network utilizing NIS, NFS, and automounter is still a very nice network to administer. Even just learning NFS/automounter is time well spent because it is a service not likely to go away. I really felt this this book was worth the time and money because it really helps the intermediate to advanced admin better gain control of the network (instead of the network controlling him :). Definintely give this book a try. Enjoy!
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