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Old 10-18-2005, 12:59 PM   #1
linuxmfx
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NIS and home directories (Suse 10)


Hi There

I'm fairly new to NIS stuff, and moderate with linux.
I've set-up NIS server through the GUI in suse 10. Have pointed another workstation to it in the NIS client set-up.
When I try to log in - it says can't find the home directory.
I was under the impression that NIS server would also export the home directories, and on logging in the NIS client would automount it.
Am I just a total optimist, and actually there is more work to be done?

Thanks

Also, as a PS, can a linux NIS be used for windows users to log in and have their home directories on - or do I need a windows server as well?
 
Old 10-18-2005, 01:11 PM   #2
MensaWater
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NIS only exports lookup tables so you don't have to update /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, /etc/hosts, /etc/services etc... on all your servers. This means that it DOES carry across all the information about the user to the new host that is in the tables but does NOT carry any of th actual files over.

To make the home directory available you'd need to use NFS. NFS lets you export a filesystem like /home from one server and mount it on another server. For your purposes you want to export /home from the server where you've already created the home directories (assuming they're all in /home) then mount that as /home on the target servers.

man nfs - Will give you overview of NFS.

man exports - Will give you details of the /etc/exports file which you need to create on the server from which you are exporting.

man fstab - Will give you details of /etc/fstab file into which you need to add your mount entries for the servers to which you are exporting.

NOTE: By default most distros create /home. If you are going to export and mount /home you probably need to verify you don't have anything in it on the hosts to which you're mounting as otherwise you won't be able to access that while the NFS is mounted there. Naming it /home2 on the master would be one way to avoid this problem but unnecessary if you don't have any local user on the other servers.
 
Old 10-18-2005, 01:26 PM   #3
linuxmfx
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thanks v much - that makes sense and I think I know how to do that!

Cheers

PS - do you know about the windows side?
 
Old 10-19-2005, 10:28 AM   #4
MensaWater
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Sorry. I do know that there are some Unix utilities for Windows. Hummingbird makes a product called Maestro which allows Windows to mount NFS. Also I believe Microsoft itself has Unix Utilities for Windows. Both the MS and Hummingbird products cost money though. I'm not sure if there are any freeware equivalents.

There IS a way to share to Windows from Linux that is free/open source called Samba. Essentially Samba makes your Linux do Windows smb style shares. This is similar in function to NFS. NFS was designed for Unix/Linux and SMB was designed for Windows. Unfortunaely I only worked breifly on it so couldn't give you a lot of guidance. There are surely Samba tutorials on the web you can find.

I'm also not sure if there is anything for NIS. Some comments I've seen in the past suggest to me I'd look at Active Directory and/or LDAP in Google (or your favorite search engine) in combination with NIS if I were to research it. It seems to me that Samba takes the place of NIS for user accounts when exporting Samba shares but I'm not sure.

Note that Unix/Linux and Windows/DOS have different setup for binaries and even for ascii files. While you'd be able to open ascii files made on one with the other you'd see odd results. Therefore while it might be vialble to have Linux be a file server for Windows you would likely have to have different setups for users for when they were doing work in Linux itself as opposed to when they were doing it on Windows.

A final possibility exists if you just want your users to have access to Linux from Windows they CAN simply telnet in from Windows. Better yet you should download PuTTY (free) to your Windows workstations and setup ssh on your Linux server. This lets users ssh from Windows to Linux instead of telnet - ssh having much better security.
 
  


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