This book is divided into two sections. The first twelve chapters
contain explanations of the implementation and operation of NFS and
NIS. Chapter 13, "Network Diagnostic and Administrative Tools"
through Chapter 18, "Client-Side Performance Tuning"
cover advanced administrative and
debugging techniques, performance analysis, and tuning. Building on
the introductory material, the second section of the book delves into
low-level details such as the effects of network partitioning
hardware and the various steps in a remote procedure call. The
material in this section is directly applicable to the ongoing
maintenance and debugging of a network.
Here's the chapter-by-chapter breakdown:
Chapter 1, "Networking Fundamentals" provides an introduction to the
underlying network protocols and services used by NFS and NIS.
Chapter 2, "Introduction to Directory Services " provides a survey of the popular
Chapter 3, "Network Information Service Operation" discusses the architecture of NIS and its
operation on both NIS servers and NIS clients. The focus is on how to
set up NIS and its implementation features that affect network
planning and initial configuration.
Chapter 4, "System Management Using NIS" discusses operational aspects of NIS
that are important to network administrators. This chapter explores
common NIS administration techniques, including map management,
setting up multiple NIS domains, and using NIS with domain name
Chapter 5, "Living with Multiple Directory Servers " explains the issues around using both
NIS and the Directory Name Service (DNS) on the same network.
Chapter 6, "System Administration Using the Network File System" covers basic NFS operations, such as
mounting and exporting filesystems.
Chapter 7, "Network File System Design and Operation" explains the architecture of NFS and the
underlying virtual filesystem. It also discusses the implementation
details that affect performance, such as file attributes and data
Chapter 8, "Diskless Clients" is all about diskless clients. It also
presents debugging techniques for clients that fail to boot
Chapter 9, "The Automounter" discusses the automounter, a powerful
but sometimes confusing tool that integrates NIS administrative
techniques and NFS filesystem management.
Chapter 10, "PC/NFS Clients
" covers PC/NFS, a client-side
implementation of NFS for Microsoft Windows machines.
Chapter 11, "File Locking " focuses on file locking and how it
relates to NFS.
Chapter 12, "Network Security" explores network security. Issues such
as restricting access to hosts and filesystems form the basis for
this chapter. We'll also go into how to make NFS more secure,
including a discussion of setting up NFS security that leverages
encryption for stronger protection.
Chapter 13, "Network Diagnostic and Administrative Tools" describes the administrative and
diagnostic tools that are applied to the network and its systems as a
whole. This chapter concentrates on the network and on interactions
between hosts on the network, instead of the per-machine issues
presented in earlier chapters. Tools and techniques are described for
analyzing each layer in the protocol stack, from the Ethernet to the
NFS and NIS applications.
Chapter 14, "NFS Diagnostic Tools" focuses on tools used to diagnose NFS
Chapter 15, "Debugging Network Problems" describes how to debug common network
Chapter 16, "Server-Side Performance Tuning" discusses how to tune your NFS and, to
a lesser extent, NIS servers.
Chapter 17, "Network Performance Analysis" covers performance tuning and analysis
of machines and the network.
Chapter 18, "Client-Side Performance Tuning" explores NFS client tuning, including
NFS mount parameter adjustments.
Appendix A, "IP Packet Routing" explains how IP packets are forwarded
to other networks. It is additional background information for
discussions of performance and network configuration.
Appendix B, "NFS Problem Diagnosis" summarizes NFS problem diagnosis using
the NFS statistics utility and the error messages printed by clients
experiencing NFS failures.
Appendix C, "Tunable Parameters" summarizes parameters for tuning NFS
performance and other attributes.
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