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O'Reilly Network: Understanding NFS

Feb 19, 2002, 15:42 (7 Talkback[s])

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"We've discussed sharing filesystems via SMB a few times. SMB lets you access files shared by a Windows system after jumping through only half a dozen loops. Sharing files with another Unix system is much, much simpler. FreeBSD supports the Unix standard Network File System out of the box. NFS intimidates many junior system administrators, but it's really quite simple once you know what's going on.

Each NFS connection works on a client-server model. One computer is the server and offers filesystems to other systems. This is called "NFS exporting," and the filesystems offered are called "exports." The clients can mount server exports in a manner almost identical to that used to mount local filesystems.

One interesting thing about NFS is it's statelessness. You can reboot a server and the client won't crash. It won't be able to access files on the server's export while the server is down, but once it returns, you'll pick up right where things left off. Other network file sharing systems are not so resilient."

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