System Administration Guide: IP Services

Systems That Should Run in Local Files Mode

To run in local files mode, a system must have local copies of the TCP/IP configuration files. These files are described in TCP/IP Configuration Files. The system should have its own disk, though this recommendation is not strictly necessary.

Most servers should run in local files mode. This requirement includes the following servers:

Additionally, routers should run in local files mode.

Systems that function exclusively as print servers do not need to run in local files mode. Whether individual hosts should run in local files mode depends on the size of your network.

If you are running a very small network, the amount of work that is involved in maintaining these files on individual hosts is manageable. If your network serves hundreds of hosts, the task becomes difficult, even with the network divided into a number of administrative subdomains. Thus, for large networks, using local files mode is usually less efficient. However, because routers and servers must be self-sufficient, they should be configured in local files mode.

Network Configuration Servers

Network configuration servers are the servers that supply the TCP/IP configuration information to hosts that are configured in network client mode. These servers support three booting protocols:

Network configuration servers can also function as NFS file servers.

If you are configuring any hosts as network clients, then you must also configure at least one system on your network as a network configuration server. If your network is subnetted, then you must have at least one network configuration server for each subnet with network clients.