UNIX systems store basic information about groups of users in the group file. This file consists of a series of lines, one for each group. Each line can contain the following information about a group:
Conventional Network Information Service (NIS) servers generate two maps from the group file, group.byname and group.bygid, which contain the same information as the group file, but are indexed to provide quick access to the records.
Instead of storing this information in files, Server for NIS maintains group information in Active Directory entries for each group. This allows you to manage the Windows and UNIX (NIS) information together by using the group properties dialog box in Active Directory Users and Computers. When creating a new group, for example, you must enter the group name, which is shared by Windows and NIS, only once. In the case of UNIX-specific information (GID and members), you can enter this information using the UNIX Attributes tab of the same dialog box.
For more information on how to manage UNIX group accounts using Active Directory Users and Computers, see Manage NIS Groups.