Solaris 11 NIS client

At the current time (July 2014) Oracle's documentation for how to set up a NIS client, is horrible at best, and wrong at worst. So, here's accurate information on how to set up a Solaris 11 machine (or zone) as a NIS client.

It should be noted that if you want to do this by hand, you can mostly just run

ypinit -c
and in theory, everything should be set up for you.
Unfortunately, however, you still need to set the NIS domain name, and the manpage for ypinit does not tell you how to do this. (But I do, lower down!)

The general reason for this page existing, is if you want to do the configs by means of some kind of automation script.


Most of the steps involve adjusting SMF settings, with the exception of the /etc/hosts entries.

  1. Define the NIS domain
  2. Define the NIS servers
  3. Add server entries to /etc/hosts
  4. Enable nis/client service

Define the NIS domain

svccfg -s /network/nis/domain setprop config/domainname = NISNameHere # if you are going to run ypinit -c, also run # svcadm refresh nis/domain

Define the NIS servers

svccfg -s /network/nis/domain setprop config/ypservers = \ (IP.AD.DR.01 IP.AD.DR.02)

Add entries to /etc/hosts

If you wish to have your ypservers property be hostnames, rather than IP addresses, you can.. but you must add entries for each server you mentioned, into /etc/hosts.

If on the other hand, you use IP address, then entries in /etc/hosts do not seem to be required.

Enable nis/client service

You'll want to first "refresh" the SMF properties you tweaked above. Then the following commands should make your changes live, so long as nsswitch is already set in the manner you prefer.
svcadm refresh nis/domain # you might even need a "restart" of nis/domain # svcadm enable nis/client

This material is copyrighted by Philip Brown
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