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Renaming a Directory-Enabled UNIX Server

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Subbu K.K.

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Posted: 3 Sep 2003
 

Problem

I need to change the name of a UNIX server with eDirectory services installed. Can I do this without problem? Can I simply rename the server itself and the object using ConsoleOne?

Solution

Yes, but it requires careful planning. eDirectory server agent derives the default tree and server object name from the hostname at the time of adding the server agent to the tree. If you change the hostname after the agent is added, these object names will not change. You will have to explicitly enter the tree and server object name in nds.conf and in external applications. If you want to retain the simplicity of defaults, you can remove the server agent from the ring, rename the host and then add the server agent back in.

But there are deeper ramifications to changing hostnames on a UNIX box in a production network. The hostname is used in many places (e.g. /etc/hosts, SLP advertisements and so on.). Changing it is not as simple as 'hostname <newname>'. If the machine is used in a network as a server, other machines may refer to this node using the old name in their configuration files (e.g. through NFS mounts).

Most admins introduce the new hostname (or retain the old name) as an alias (/etc/hosts or DNS) in a gradual cutover rather than an abrupt change.


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