[TUHS] Directory services in early Unix networks?

ron minnich rminnich at gmail.com
Thu Nov 8 01:52:47 AEST 2018

On Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 3:38 AM <arnold at skeeve.com> wrote:

> 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.

This does not align with my memory at all. I was at udel until 1988
and we started dealing with dns ca. 1986, and the shared library stuff
I dealt with in sunos came later.

Was there really an nsswitch.conf before 1988 that used shared
libraries? When did you first see nsswitch.conf? I first saw the
shared libraries  with sunos 4.0 when I moved to super.org in 1988. I
always thought it started with them on Unix anyway.

In any event, dns was in some ways a big improvement in life. We were
ftp'ing the 256KiB host file from prep frequently (along with many)
and the load on prep, evidently, was getting high.

And a linear search of a 256KiB hosts file for every single
gethostbyname was getting ... noticeable. I assume this is part of why
stayopen was an option in the library.

People got upset about some things with DNS: "it's called prep, not
prep.ai.mit.edu, what is this nonsense?"

But we adjusted.

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