How to configure NIS Server in Linux

This tutorial explains how to configure NIS Server and NIS Client in Linux step by step with practical example. Learn how to use NIS server for centralized authentication and how to configure it to allow network users to login only in shared home directory.

NIS, or Network Information Systems, is a network service that allows authentication and login information to be stored on a centrally located server. This includes the username and password database for login authentication, database of user groups, and the locations of home directories.

RHCE exam questions

One NIS Domain named rhce is configured in your lab, server is nis1, nis2,nis3 user are created on domain server. Make your system as a member of rhce domain. Make sure that when nis user login in your system home directory should get by them. Home directory is shared on server /rhome/nis1.

RHCE exam doesn't ask candidate to configure NIS server. It test only NIS client side configuration. As you can see in example questions. But here in this article we will configure both server and client side for testing purpose so you can get more depth knowledge of nis server

Configure NIS server

In this example we will configure a NIS server and a user nis1 will login from client side.

For this example we are using two systems one linux server one linux clients .

  • A linux server with ip address and hostname Server
  • A linux client with ip address and hostname Client1
  • Updated /etc/hosts file on both linux system
  • Running portmap and xinetd services
  • Firewall should be off on server
We suggest you to review that article before start configuration of nis server. Once you have completed the necessary steps follow this guide.

Seven rpm are required to configure nis server. ypserv, cach, nfs, make, ypbind, portmap, xinetd check them if not found then install


Now check nfs,ypserv,yppasswdd,ypbind, portmap, xinetd service in system service it should be on

Select  System service
from list

Now open /etc/sysconfig/network file


Set hostname and NIS domain name as shown here and save file

change hostname

Now create a user named nis1 and give his home directory on /rhome with full permission


Now open /etc/exports file


share /rhome/nis1 directory for network


save this with :wq and exit

now open /var/yp/Makefile file


and locate line number 109 [ use ESC + : +set nu command to show hidden lines or read our vi editor article to know more about vi command line option ]


Now remove other entry from this line excepts passwd group hosts netid \ [as shown here]


save this with :wq and exit

Now restart these service

#service portmap restart
#service xinetd restart
#service nfs restart
#service ypserv restart
#service yppasswdd restart

Don't restart ypbind service at this time as we haven't updated our database

Now change directory to /var/yp and run make command to create database


now update this database by running this commands [ first add server and then add all client machine one by one. After adding press CTRL+D to save, confirm by pressing y]


Now once again restart all these service this time there should be no error

#service portmap restart
#service xinetd restart
#service nfs restart
#service ypserv restart
#service yppasswdd restart
#service ypbind restart

Now set all these service to on with chkconfig so these could be on after restart

#chkconfig portmap on
#chkconfig xinetd on
#chkconfig nfs on
#chkconfig ypserv on
#chkconfig yppasswdd on
#chkconfig ypbind on

Client configuration

Before you start client configuration we suggest you to check proper connectivity between server and client. First try to login on NIS server from telnet. If you can successfully login via telnet then try to mount /rhome/nis1 directory via nfs server. If you get any error in telnet or nfs then remove those error first. You can read our pervious article for configuration related help.

Once you successfully completed necessary test then start configuration of client sides.

Two rpm are required to configure clients yp-tools and ypbind check them for install


now open /etc/sysconfig/network file

vi network

and make change as shown here


save the file with :wq and exit

now run setup command and select authentication configuration from list


select authenications

now check mark on NIS and enter on next


Set domain name to rhce and server to and click on ok

set nis domain name

No error should be occurred here if you see any error then check all configuration.

no open /etc/auto.master file


in the end of file do editing of /rhome as shown here

editing in auto.master

save the file with :wq and exit

now open /etc/auto.misc file


in the end of file do editing of user nis1 as shown here


save the file with :wq and exit

now restart autofs and ypbind service

service restart

set these service on via chkconfig commands

#chkconfig autofs on
#chkconfig ypbind on

now restart the system

 #reboot -f 

login from nis1 user on client system

user login

ComputerNetworkingNotes Linux Tutorials How to configure NIS Server in Linux