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LinuxPlanet: Linux Networking, Part 7: Implementing NFS

Nov 24, 2000, 14:12 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by William Wong)

"If you have Windows PCs on your home network and have no pressing reason to use NFS (Network File System) support to share files, then read no farther. NFS is actually more robust than Samba, but it is also more complicated depending upon what features are used."

"From a basic point of view, NFS and Samba are very similar. Both have a client and server application. Both allow a server to share files with clients. Both have clients and servers on almost every platform. The big difference is the Windows PCs have Samba-compatible clients and servers as part of their default network support and Windows requires third party software to support NFS. Conversely, UNIX systems usually come with and use NFS by default with Samba being used to provide file sharing with Windows PCs."

"Perhaps the biggest difference between NFS and Samba is that NFS does not have the resource browser capability. This means that an NFS client cannot poll a server to see what directories have been exported. Samba clients do this using NetBIOS so it is possible to determine what directories are being shared. NFS requires the information be delivered by other means."

"This article covers the basics of NFS configuration. There are a number of NFS HOWTOs and books on NFS that are good sources of information in addition to the online manual pages for the applications mentioned in this article. These should be used if security is an issue."

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