Solaris Transition Guide

NIS and NIS+ Comparison

Table 13-2 summarizes several major enhancements in NIS+ compared to NIS.

Table 13-2 NIS and NIS+ Features Compared




Name space 

Has a flat on-hierarchical organization; centralized flat file database for each independent network domain  

Has a hierarchical organization; partitioned into directories to support each network subset or autonomous domain 

Data Storage Scheme 

Multiple bicolumn "maps" (files) having key-value pairs 

Multicolumn database with multiple, searchable columns 

Resource Access Across Domains 

Not supported 

Permitted for authorized users 

Privileges for  


Updates require superuser privileges on master server 

Updates can be performed remotely by authorized users  

Update Process 

Updates require using make files on master servers 

Updates are performed easily through command-line interface 



Is administrator initiated and requires transfer of whole maps 

Automatic and high-performance updating via incremental transfer  


Database not secure 

Fine-grained access control to NIS+ directories, table column, and entries 

Commands and Functions Prefixes 

Prefixed by the letters yp, as in ypmatch(1) and ypcat(1)

Prefixed by the letters nis, as in nismatch(1) and nischown(1)

NIS+ includes features that enable NIS sites to migrate to the new name service in a smooth, phased manner. NIS sites that migrate to NIS+ will gain the following benefits: