NIS uses a client-server architecture to distribute information from the following files on the master server by default:
When NIS is initialized on the master server, information from these files is compiled into a series of databases called maps. The maps are then propagated to other servers (slave and copy-only servers) on the network, where they are translated back into ASCII files. When it is necessary to update information in these files, the ASCII files are edited on the master server and the maps are modified and repropagated using NIS commands.
In the SCO OpenServer implementation of NIS, master and slave
servers perform all lookups of NIS-managed information
locally on servers.
Copy-only servers and NIS clients use remote servers.
SCO OpenServer clients can request NIS maps from servers
to satisfy lookup requests for password and group information.
This is only supported for commands that have
been built using the libsocket library.
All SCO-supplied commands, such as
can read NIS password and group maps when run on a
When a new map is received on a slave or copy-only server, it is
converted to the corresponding ASCII file(s) that is
then available locally to requesting processes.
SCO NIS servers
can also satisfy lookup requests from clients running
other than SCO OpenServer systems.