Configuring TCP/IP on Solaris - TCP/IP Configuration Files
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Each machine on a TCP/IP network gets its configuration information from the following TCP/IP configuration files and network databases:
- /etc/hostname.interface file
- /etc/nodename file
- /etc/defaultdomain file
- /etc/defaultrouter file (optional)
- hosts database
- netmasks database (optional)
The Solaris installation program creates these files as part of the installation process. You can also edit the files manually, as explained in this document. The hosts and netmasks databases are two of the network databases read by the name services available on Solaris networks.
This file defines the network interfaces on the local host. At least one /etc/hostname.interface file should exist on the local machine. The Solaris installation program creates this file for you. In the file name, interface is replaced by the device name of the primary network interface.
The file contains only one entry: the host name or IP address associated with the network interface. For example, suppose eri0 is the primary network interface for a machine called alexprod. Its /etc/hostname.interface file would have the name /etc/hostname.eri0; the file would contain the entry alexprod.
For Multiple Network Interfaces
If a machine contains more than one network interface, you must create additional /etc/hostname.interface files for the additional network interfaces. You must create these files with a text editor; the Solaris installation program does not create them for you.
For example, consider the machine melodyprod. It has two network interfaces and functions as a router. The primary network interface eri0 is connected to network 192.168.100. Its IP address is 192.168.100.50, and its host name is melodyprod. The Solaris installation program creates the file /etc/hostname.eri0 for the primary network interface and enters the host name melodyprod.
The second network interface is eri1; it is connected to network 192.168.200. Although this interface is physically installed on machine melodyprod, it must have a separate IP address. Therefore, you have to manually create the /etc/hostname.eri1 file for this interface; the entry in the file would be the router's name; melodyprod-200.
This file should contain one entry; the host name of the local machine. For example, on machine alexprod, the file /etc/nodename would contain the entry alexprod.
This file should contain one entry, the full qualified domain name of the administrative domain to which the local host's network belongs. You can supply this name to the Solaris installation program or edit the file at a later date.
Take for example the domain iDevelopment which was classified as a .info domain. In this example, /etc/defaultdomain should contain the entry iDevelopment.info.
This file should contain an entry for each router directly connected to the network. The entry should be the name for the network interface that functions as a router between networks.
If the default router for a machine will be 192.168.1.1, then this is the entry that should be put into the file /etc/defaultrouter.
The hosts database contains the IP addresses and host names of machines on your network. If you use the NIS, NIS+, or DNS name services, the hosts database is maintained in a database designated for host information. For example, on a network running NIS+, the hosts database is maintained in the host table.
If you use local files for name service, the hosts database is maintained in the /etc/inet/hosts file. This file contains the host names and IP addresses of the primary network interface, other network interfaces attached to the machine, and any other network addresses that the machine must know about.NOTE: For compatibility with BSD-based operating systems, the file /etc/hosts is a symbolic link to /etc/inet/hosts.
- /etc/inet/hosts File Format
The /etc/inet/hosts file uses this basic syntax: (Refer to the hosts(4) man page for complete syntax information.)IP-address hostname [nicknames] [#comment]
- IP-address contains the IP address for each interface that the local host must know about.
- hostname contains the host name assigned to the machine at setup, plus the host names assigned to additional network interfaces that the local host must know about.
- [nickname] is an optional field containing a nickname for the host.
- [# comment] is an optional field where you can include a comment.
- Initial /etc/inet/hosts File
When you run the Solaris installation program on a machine, it sets up the initial /etc/inet/hosts file. This file contains the minimum entries that the local host requires: its loopback address, its IP address, and its host name.
For example, the Solaris installation program might create the following /etc/inet/hosts file for machine alexprod shown in the following example:
127.0.0.1 localhost loghost #loopback address 192.168.100.51 alexprod #host name
- Loopback Address
In the above example, the IP address 127.0.0.1 is the loopback address, the reserved network interface used by the local machine to allow interprocess communication so that it sends packets to itself. The
ifconfigcommand uses the loopback address for configuration and testing. Every machine on a TCP/IP network must use the IP address 127.0.0.1 for the local host.
- Host Name
The IP address 192.168.100.51 and the name alexprod are the address and host name of the local machine. They are assigned to the machine's primary network interface.
- Multiple Network Interfaces
Some machines have more than one network interface, either because they are routers or multihomed hosts. Each additional network interface attached to the machine requires its own IP address and associated name. When you configure a router or multihomed host, you must manually add this information to the router's /etc/inet/hosts file.
The following example is a /etc/inet/hosts file for machine alexroute:
127.0.0.1 localhost loghost 184.108.40.206 alexroute #This is the local host name 220.127.116.11 alexroute-201 #Interface to network 192.9.201
With these two interfaces, alexroute connects networks 192.168.200 and 192.168.201 as a router.
- How Name Services Affect the hosts Database
The NIS, NIS+, and DNS name services maintain host names and addresses on one or more servers. These servers maintain hosts databases containing information for every host and router (if applicable) on the servers' network.
You need to edit the netmasks database as part of network configuration only if you have set up subnetting on your network. The netmasks database consists of a list of networks and their associated subnet masks.NOTE: When you create subnets, each new network must be a separate physical network. You cannot apply subnetting to a single physical network.
- What is Subnetting?
Subnetting is a method for getting the most out of the limited 32-bit IP addressing space and reducing the size of the routing tables in a large internetwork. With any address class, subnetting provides a means of allocating a part of the host address space to network addresses, which lets you have more networks. The part of the host address space allocated to new network addresses is known as the subnet number.
In addition to making more efficient use of the IP address space, subnetting has several administrative benefits. Routing can become very complicated as the number of networks grows. A small organization, for example, might give each local network a class C number. As the organization grows, administering a number of different network numbers could become complicated. A better idea is to allocate a few class B network numbers to each major division in an organization. For instance, you could allocate one to Engineering, one to Operations, and so on. Then, you could divide each class B network into additional networks, using the additional network numbers gained by subnetting. This can also reduce the amount of routing information that must be communicated among routers.
- Creating the Network Mask
As part of the subnetting process, you need to select a network-wide netmask. The netmask determines how many and which bits in the host address space represent the subnet number and how many and which represent the host number. Recall that the complete IP address consists of 32 bits. Depending on the address class, as many as 24 bits and as few as 8 bits can be available for representing the host address space. The netmask is specified in the netmasks database.
If you plan to use subnets, you must determine your netmask before you configure TCP/IP. If you plan to install the operating system as part of network configuration, the Solaris installation program requests the netmask for your network. 32-bit IP addresses consist of a network part and a host part. The 32 bits are divided into 4 bytes. Each byte is assigned either to the network number or the host number, depending on the network class.
For example, in a class B IP address, the 2 left-hand bytes are assigned to the network number, and the 2 right-hand bytes are assigned to the host number. In the class B IP address 18.104.22.168, you can assign the 2 right-hand bytes to hosts.
If you are going to implement subnetting, you need to use some of the bits in the bytes assigned to the host number to apply to subnet addresses. For example, a 16-bit host address space provides addressing for 65,534 hosts. If you apply the third byte to subnet addresses and the fourth to host addresses, you can address up to 254 networks, with up to 254 hosts on each.
The bits in the host address bytes that will be applied to subnet addresses and those applied to host addresses is determined by a subnet mask. Subnet masks are used to select bits from either byte for use as subnet addresses. Although netmask bits must be contiguous, they need not align on byte boundaries.
The netmask can be applied to an IP address using the bitwise logical AND operator. This operation selects out the network number and subnet number positions of the address.
It is easiest to explain netmasks in terms of their binary representation. You can use a calculator for binary-to-decimal conversion. The following examples show both the decimal and binary forms of the netmask.
If a netmask 255.255.255.0 is applied to the IP address 22.214.171.124, the result is the IP address of 126.96.36.199.
188.8.131.52 & 255.255.255.0 = 184.108.40.206
In binary form, the operation is:
10000001.10010000.00101001.01100101 (IP address)
Now the system looks for a network number of 129.144.41 instead of a network number of 129.144. If you have a network with the number 129.144.41, that is what the system looks for and finds. Since you can assign up to 254 values to the third byte of the IP address space, subnetting lets you create address space for 254 networks, where previously there was room for only one.
If you want to provide address space for only two additional networks, you could use a subnet mask of: 255.255.192.0
This netmask provides a result of:
This still leaves 14 bits available for host addresses. Since all 0s and 1s are reserved, at least two bits must be reserved for the host number.
- Editing the /etc/inet/netmasks File
If your network runs NIS or NIS+, the servers for these name services maintain netmasks databases. For networks that use local files for name service, this information is maintained in the /etc/inet/netmasks file.
NOTE: For compatibility with BSD-based operating systems, the file /etc/netmasks is a symbolic link to /etc/inet/netmasks.
## The netmasks file associates Internet Protocol (IP) address # masks with IP network numbers. # # network-number netmask # # Both the network-number and the netmasks are specified in # ''decimal dot'' notation, e.g: # # 220.127.116.11 255.255.255.0 18.104.22.168 255.255.255.0
If the file does not exist, create it. Use the following syntax: network-number netmask-number
When creating netmask numbers, type the network number assigned by the InterNIC (not the subnet number) and netmask number in /etc/inet/netmasks. Each subnet mask should be on a separate line.
You can also type symbolic names for network numbers in the /etc/inet/hosts file. You can then use these network names instead of the network numbers as parameters to commands.
Adding a Subnet to a Network
If you are changing from a network that does not use subnets to one that is subnetted, perform the following steps:
- Decide on the new subnet topology, including considerations for routers and locations of hosts on the subnets.
- Assign all subnet and host addresses.
- Modify the /etc/inet/netmasks file, if you are manually configuring TCP/IP, or supply the netmask to the Solaris installation program.
- Modify the /etc/inet/hosts files on all hosts to reflect the new host addresses.
- Reboot all machines.