[TUHS] Directory services in early Unix networks?

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Wed Nov 7 19:05:58 AEST 2018

Dan Cross <crossd at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

I'm not sure what you're asking.  When DNS came along, it became
a matter of editing /etc/nsswitch.conf to include dns as one of the
options along with files and yp/nis.  I think the average user didn't
see any big difference since all the apps (ftp, telnet) just went
through gethostbyname().

DNS configuration files were a trip, especially for someone used to the
very simple Unix configuration files like /etc/passwd and /etc/hosts.
Circa 1985/1986 I was responsible for bringing up DNS at the Emory U
campus.  Once in place, things pretty much just worked. Or at least,
from this distant vantage point, that's what I seem to remember.


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