NFS server

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NFS (Network File System) is the standard file-sharing protocol used by Unix systems. NFS allows one system to export a directory across the network to one or more other hosts, allowing users and programs on those hosts to access exported files as though they were local.

An NFS server is a system which exports one or more directories, while an NFS client is a system that mounts one or more directories from a server. A host can be both an NFS server and a client of other servers.

A server controls which clients can mount an exported directory by checking the IP address of the client against a list of allowed hosts for the requested directory. The server can also designate an export read-only, or read-only for certain clients.

Unlike other network filesystems, an NFS client does not have to login to the server when mounting an exported directory. The server trusts the client to authenticate users (either with Unix credentials, or with trough a Kerberos5 authentication) and provide the ID of the current user when accessing exported files. Thus you should only allow client hosts that you trust to mount exported directories.

This module allows you to configure directories (called exports in Linux) shared via NFS from your system. The first page shows a list of directories and the clients they are exported to, allowing you to click on the client to edit its options or start exporting a new directory.

Below the list of shares on the first page is a button which will make the current configuration active. This is done by stopping and starting the running NFS server processes.

If some directory and one of its sub-directories is exported, the options for the most specific directory will apply to clients. For example, if /usr and /usr/local are both exported, a client accessing /usr/local/bin will be effected by the options for the /usr/local export.

Prerequisites

  • NFS server must be installed (nfs-utils)
  • Firewall must allow nfs, rpc-bind and mountd