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Part: VI Server/Network Administration > File and Resource Sharing with NetInfo

Chapter 23. File and Resource Sharing with NetInfo

In This Chapter

Although OS X is a Unix-based operating system, there is a remaining vestige from its NEXTSTEP heritage that most Unix users won't recognize: the NetInfo database. The NetInfo database is a hierarchical database that stores information on your machine's configuration and resources.

The NetInfo hierarchy is composed of directories. Each directory has properties. Each property has a name and value. The main directory on a given machine is the root directory, represented by /. Each machine has a local database with information about the machine's local resources.

The NetInfo hierarchy can extend beyond your local machine. As you might have guessed, your machine could be part of a NetInfo network. A NetInfo network is a hierarchical collection of domains, where each has a corresponding NetInfo database. A NetInfo network could have an unlimited number of domains, but up to three domains is most common. Your machine has its own local domain, but it could belong to a domain composed of it and other machines. That domain could describe resources available to your local cluster of machines. That domain could also belong to another domain that might include information on yet another level of resources available, and so on.

Your machine could be part of a larger NetInfo network. However, because NetInfo is not a widespread network type, we expect that it is more likely your machine will be using its NetInfo database either as a standalone machine or, possibly, as part of a Unix cluster.

In this chapter, we will examine the NetInfo database using the graphical interface, NetInfo Manager, as well as command-line tools. You will learn how to work with the NetInfo database by adding, in a variety of ways, a PostScript printer served by a remote Unix host to our system as a useable printer. Learning how to add a printer to the NetInfo database will provide the background needed for the rest of the chapter. You will learn how to customize a local user so that you can also use it on another system. You will finish by learning how to mount file systems served by a remote Unix host on your local OS X machine, as well as how to serve a file system on your OS X machine to a remote Unix host.



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