SUMMARY: NIS install time

From: Charles Homan [ext 422] (
Date: Wed Nov 27 1996 - 12:55:44 CST

Thanks to those who responded, specifically:

Gregory M Polanski
Herbert Wengatz
Caleb Warner
Nate Itkin
Reto Lichtensteiger
Glenn Satchell
Martin Espinoza

The answers I got range from 5 minutes for each machine to 1/2 a day for the server and slaves plus 1 to 1 1/2 hours per client. I will probably assume that the whole thing will take me 80 hours, which allows about 30 minutes per machine; this is based on the answers I received, plus the fact that I will be dealing with SunOS, Solaris, AIX, Linux, Digital Unix, Ultrix, HP-UX, IRIX, etc... My complete question and the responses follow.

Thanks again!

| Charles Homan | Real Time Is Right Now! |
| Systems Administrator | Check out Applix Anyware - interactive information |
| Applix, Inc. | access to any user, no matter their location! |
| | +++ +++ |

Original Question:
NIS experts:

I'm trying to put together a business-case justification for installing NIS.
Does anyone have a rough idea of how long it takes to configure NIS clients,
hosts, or slaves? I have the prospect facing me of creating an NIS master,
5-10 slaves, and 150+ clients, mostly Solaris/SunOS, but with a little of
everything mixed in to make it more fun. ;-)

Has anyone done this recently enough to remember how long it took? Can I
assume that one can be [intelligent|cautious] enough not to make mistakes?

Thanks a bunch!

NIS is pretty straightforward to set up. The maps,
passwd, hosts, ethers, go pretty quickly. The time
consuming maps are for master, home, project, src, tools, ...
and direct maps.

In the SunOS environment, I used to just used the files
in /etc on the host machine.

In the Solaris environment, I have created /etc/YPSRCS
for passwd, shadow, and the other auto maps. I also
control the maps via SCCS.

ls -l /etc/YPSRCS
total 148
drwxr-xr-x 3 root other 1024 Nov 22 08:59 ./
drwxrwxr-x 27 root sys 3072 Nov 26 07:50 ../
drwxr-xr-x 2 root other 512 May 28 1996 SCCS/
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root other 8263 Aug 13 15:03 adduser*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root other 8261 Nov 22 08:53
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 9927 Nov 22 08:59 passwd
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 5404 Nov 22 08:59 shadow
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 127 May 28 1996 yp_auto_direct
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 869 Sep 19 15:07 yp_auto_direct_sol2_sparc
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 240 Aug 13 16:10 yp_auto_direct_sun4_sparc
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 230 Jun 20 11:42 yp_auto_extra
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 5496 Nov 22 08:59 yp_auto_home
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 255 May 28 1996 yp_auto_master
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 144 May 28 1996 yp_auto_master_sol2_sparc
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 1796 Nov 21 16:35 yp_auto_project
-r--r--r-- 1 root other 941 Jun 10 12:46 yp_auto_src

With remote access to the machines (rlogin, telnet),
I could get the master and slaver servers set up in a morning.

I would estimate about 1 to 1 1/2 hour per client. Most of the
time will be redoing the mounts.


1. Same environment on every machine !!!

2. Low Admin costs.


Greg Polanski
ADC Telecommunications
MS 254 612-946-2270
4900 West 78-th St 612-946-3910 FAX
Bloomington, MN 55435 612-580-6873 Pager
+> Has anyone done this recently enough to remember how long it took? Can I
+> assume that one can be [intelligent|cautious] enough not to make mistakes?

Yes. - It's not THAT hard.

Just get a list of all machines you are going to include. Get their hostnames and
IP-adresses. Write them together in the /etc/hosts file of the NIS master-Server.
After that, you need to run "ypbind -m" on the master.
Run "ypbind -s" on the slaves
and only "ypbind" on the clients.

That's most of it!

I don't have the time to go into detail. But this is the major route to go. :-)

The "ypbind" needs some hostnames. So if I remember right, you need to say:
ypbind -m SERVERNAME
On the Master. And so on. Take a good a deep look into the man-pages!

(Try to find out, wether you want NIS or NIS+ !!!)


I managed to setup an NIS master server in about 2 Hrs. I had done it once
before about 3 years ago. The instructions included with SUN's NSkit where
fairly accurate and straight forward. Also, I took all the defaults. It
actually took 2 hours because I didn't realize I had a different case for the
domain name between my client and my server.

Setting up the clients should be trivial also. I script could do it in about
5-10 minutes per machine (including re-boot time). Developing the script should
take no more than 1/2 day.

Take it for what it is worth


Caleb Warner
Raytheon Company
About 5-10 minutes to set-up NIS if you know what you're doing (I've
done it in less). The business case is trivial compared to the time
required to keep 150 client passwd,group,hosts,etc. files in sync
using rdist or similar.

- Nate Itkin
- Portland Technology Development, Intel Corporation      Aloha, Oregon
- E-mail:
Errmm ... NIS builds it's databases from existing files on the master:
/etc/{hosts, group, services, networks, ethers & aliases} and /var/yp/passwd

Assuming you already have these ( :-) ) setting up the master shouldn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes. Setting up slave servers would be the same, but it'll copy the info from the master rather than generating dbs from files.

You should have a minimum of one server per subnet, as YP bind calls are net broadcasts and so are stopped at a router.

Clients is as easy as invoking "ypbind" and making sure that invokation is in the startup scripts (setting the NIS domain in [usually] /etc/defaultdomain [Solaris 1/2] or /var/yp/ypdomain [Irix] ...)

Reto -- R A Lichtensteiger -or- "Yes, you're doing things right, but are you doing the right things?" "Nope. I'm just doing something dumb fast." ----- Configuring a master is the most time consuming. It involves installing the NIS server package, copying all the files such as hosts, passwd, services, etc... to a common directory (we use /var/yp/mastermaps), setting the domainname, editting the Makefile and running ypinit -m then rebooting. All up maybe 5 to 15 minutes maximum.

Configuring a slave involves installing the NIS server package, setting the domainname, running ypinit -s master_hosts_name and rebooting, say 5 to 10 minutes.

Configuring a client on SunOS means making the directory /var/yp and rebooting. On Solaris run ypinit -c, answer the questions and reboot. Maybe 1 minute per system.

The saving in administration time, eg, adding 1 new host to the network and updating all the hosts files, or 1 user and updating all the passwd files would take longer than the complete NIS setup I should imagine.

The rule of thumb I use is that if you have more than 3 hosts you should run NIS or NIS+.

regards, -- Glenn Satchell | There's a fine line Uniq Professional Services Pty Ltd ACN 056 279 335 | between fishing and PO Box 70, Paddington, NSW 2021, (Sydney) Australia | standing on the shore Phone 02 380 6360 Pager 016 287 000 Fax 02 380 6416 | looking like an idiot. VISIT OUR NEW WEB SITE: ----- The SunOS machines will all be a cinch. Anything else will vary between fairly easy and a total pain in the arse.

-- ------------------------------------------------------------- Martin Espinoza Systems Administrator X-APPROPRIATE-URLS: You can shoot a ballistics expert, and you can brainwash a psych student.

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