The manner in which NIS and other network information services interacted with /etc files in the SunOS 4.x environment was controlled by the /etc files using the +/- syntax. How NIS+, NIS, DNS and other network information services interact with /etc files in the Solaris operating environment is determined by the name service switch. The switch is a configuration file, /etc/nsswitch.conf, located on every Solaris operating environment client. It specifies the sources of information for that client: /etc files, DNS zone files (hosts only), NIS maps, or NIS+ tables. The nsswitch.conf configuration file of NIS+ clients resembles the simplified version in Example 2-1.
passwd: files group: compat group_compat: nisplus hosts: nisplus dns [NOTFOUND=return] files services: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files networks: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files protocols: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files rpc: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files ethers: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files netmasks: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files bootparams: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files publickey: nisplus netgroup: nisplus automount: files nisplus aliases: files nisplus
In other words, for most types of information, the source is first an NIS+ table, then an /etc file. For the passwd and group entries, the sources can either be network files or from /etc files and NIS+ tables as indicated by +/- entries in the files.
You can select from three versions of the switch-configuration file or you can create your own. For instructions, see Solaris Naming Administration Guide.