In order to use nisrestore the target machine that will be receiving the NIS+ data from nisrestore must have already been set up as an NIS+ server. (See Solaris Naming Setup and Configuration Guide for a detailed description of setting up NIS+ servers.) This means that:
The machine must have already been initialized as an NIS+ client.
If you are using nisrestore on a server while other servers in the namespace are up and running, nisrestore will verify with those other servers that this server is configured to serve the backed up NIS+ objects that you are restoring to it. If no other servers are up and running in your namespace, then you must run nisrestore with the -f option. In other words, if there are other servers that nisrestore can check with, you do not need to use the -f option. If no other servers are available, for example if you are restoring a single master server and there are no functioning replica servers, then you must use the -f option.