[TUHS] Directory services in early Unix networks?

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Thu Nov 8 21:34:27 AEST 2018

Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 07, 2018 at 12:15:32PM -0500, Dan Cross wrote:
> > On Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 4:05 AM <arnold at skeeve.com> wrote:
> > 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().
> > 
> > This doesn't mesh with my memory. I recall building BIND from source and
> > having to rebuild network programs (e.g. on 4.3 on the RT or VAXen) to pick
> > up the new version of libresolv.a, and hacking the resolver library into
> > libc.so on Suns. I remember using resolv.conf fairly early on, but my
> > memory is that nsswitch.conf came later (Solaris 2.x era?). 
> Yeah, this is right, I remember doing this as well and I worked at Sun
> at that point.  It was a pain.  

OK, so now that everyone mentions it, I was wrong. I think I only
had to do this same kind of thing once though.

We ran the Mt. Xinu 4.3 BSD + NFS and it had YP also, so at some
point they were doing it and I sorta think we had /etc/nsswitch.conf
on the vaxen, but I could be wrong. We definitely had it on the SunOS 4.0
Sun servers that we bought later on.

Our connection was via CSNet - slow X.25 line to Georgia Tech and from
there to the rest of the world. We most certainly did NOT do daily FTPs
of the HOSTS.TXT file or anything like that.  At the time we had very
few TCP/IP-savy users; you could probably count them on two hands and
have a few fingers left over. :-)

Those were the days. :-)


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