System Administration Guide: IP Services

How Name Services Affect Network Databases

The format of your network database depends on the type of name service you select for your network. For example, the hosts database contains, at least the host name and IPv4 address of the local system and any network interfaces that are directly connected to the local system. However, the hosts database could contain other IPv4 addresses and host names, depending on the type of name service on your network.

The network databases are used as follows:

Note –

DNS boot and data files do not correspond directly to the network databases.

The following figure shows the forms of the hosts database that are used by these name services.

Figure 10–2 Forms of the hosts Database Used by Name Services

This figure shows the various how the DNS, NIS,
NIS+ name services and local files store the hosts database.

The following table lists the network databases and their corresponding local files and NIS maps.

Note –

The ipnodes database is removed from Oracle Solaris releases after Solaris 10 11/06.

Table 10–1 Network Databases and Corresponding Name Service Files

Network Database 

Local Files 

NIS Maps 



hosts.byaddr hosts.byname



ipnodes.byaddr ipnodes.byname






ethers.byname ethers.byaddr






protocols.byname protocols.bynumber






networks.byaddr networks.byname

This book discusses network databases as they are viewed by networks that use local files for name services.

Refer to System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP) for information on network databases correspondences in NIS, DNS, and LDAP.