If your business, organization, or home network has more than a few computers, administering each computer individually can be difficult. Renaming your domain or getting a new pool of IP addresses can result in your having to change configuration files on every computer on the network. A new member in your organization could mean adding a new user account to multiple computers.
Red Hat Linux offers several mechanisms for centrally configuring and distributing critical information associated with your network, its servers, and the people that use your computing resources. DHCP provides a means of dynamically configuring the IP addresses, network numbers, and server locations for the computers on your local network. NIS offers a means of distributing a variety of configuration files (containing such information as user accounts, passwords, and network addresses) to other Linux and UNIX systems on your network.
This chapter describes how to set up Red Hat Linux as a DHCP or NIS server. It then describes how to check that those services are working and tells how to set up client computers to use those services.