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Chapter 17. Configuring a LAN > Setting Up Servers

Setting Up Servers

Setting up local clients and servers can make a LAN easier to use and more useful. The following list briefly describes some of these tools and references the pages that describe them in detail.

  • NIS NIS can provide a uniform login regardless of which system you log in on. The NIS authentication server is covered on page 663 and the client on page 659. NIS is often combined with home directories mounted using NFS.

  • NFS NFS allows you to share directory hierarchies. Sharing directories using NFS requires that the server export the directory hierarchy (page 684) and the clients mount the hierarchy (page 676).

    Using NFS, you can store all home directories on one system and mount them from other systems as needed. This configuration works well with NIS login authentication. With this setup, it can be convenient to create a world-writable directory—for example /home/shared—which users can use to exchange files. If you set the sticky bit (page 1057) on this directory (chmod 1777 /home/shared), users can delete only files they created. If you do not set the sticky bit, any user can delete any file.

  • OpenSSH OpenSSH tools include ssh (logs in on a remote system, page 585) and scp (copies files to/from a remote system, page 588). You can also set up automatic logins with OpenSSH: If you set up a shared home directory with NFS, each user’s ~/.ssh directory (page 581) is the same on each system; a user who sets up a personal authentication key (page 592) will be able to use OpenSSH tools between systems without entering a password. See page 591 for information on how to set up an OpenSSH server. You can just use the ssh and scp clients; you do not have to set them up.

  • DNS cache Setting up a local cache can reduce the traffic between the LAN and the outside world and can improve response times. For more information refer to “JumpStart I: Setting Up a DNS Cache” on page 733.

  • DHCP DHCP enables a client system to retrieve network configuration information from a server each time it connects to a network. See page 431 for more information.

  • Samba Samba allows Linux systems to participate in a Windows network, sharing directories and printers, and accessing those shared by Windows systems. Samba includes a special share for accessing users’ home directories. For more information refer to “The [homes] Share: Sharing Users’ Home Directories” on page 711.


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