[TUHS] Directory services in early Unix networks?

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Tue Nov 6 11:41:38 AEST 2018

Spurred by the recent discussion of NIS, NIS+, LDAP et al, I'm curious what
the landscape was like for distributing administrative information in early
Unix networks.

Specifically I'm thinking about things like the Newcastle Connection, etc.

I imagine that PDP-11's connected to the ARPAnet running Unix would (e.g.,
RFC 681 style) would have adapted the HOSTS.TXT format somehow. What about
CHAOS? Newcastle? Datakit?

What was the introduction of DNS into the mix like? I can imagine that that
changed all sorts of assumptions about failure modes and the like.

NIS and playing around with Hesiod are probably the earliest such things I
ever saw, but I know there must have been prior art.

Supposedly field 5 from /etc/passwd is the GECOS username for remote job
entry (or printing)? How did that work?

        - Dan C.
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