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Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Name Service Switching and Caching

Any Unix-like system performs innumerable checks of many different name services. We've already talked about the Domain Name System that maps hostnames to IP addresses (see Chapter 14), but there's also a password entry lookup service, a TCP/IP port number and name lookup service, an IP protocol name and number lookup service, and so on. You can configure how your FreeBSD system makes these queries and what information sources it uses through nsswitch (name service switching). FreeBSD also has a name service caching daemon, nscd(8), that stores the results of name service queries you've already made, reducing both network traffic and the time needed to make these queries.

/etc/nsswitch.conf

The name service switching ...

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