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Linux® Desk Reference, Second Edition by Scott Hawkins

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NIS

NIS is handy in situations where you have several machines networked together to serve a common group of users. By default, there would be multiple copies of the access control files (e.g. /etc/passwd, /etc/hosts…), one per machine. This is OK if you have only one or two machines, or one or two users. But in real-world situations where there are dozens of machines and hundreds of users, the man hours required to keep all those files synchronized can quickly become prohibitively expensive. NIS provides a mechanism for replacing the multiple sets of files spread across the network with a single set stored on a central server (or servers). When one of the client machines needs to find out user Timmy's password, it asks the server. When Timmy ...

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