Mounting Network File Systems the easy way

By Joshua Drake, LinuxWorld.com |  Operating Systems

Q: How do I NFS mount a filesystem on other Linux machines?



A: NFS, or Network File System, is a technology that was introduced into the Unix world by Sun Microsystems. It allows a computer to mount a remote filesystem as if it were a local filesystem. The mounting of a remote filesystem can be useful in many ways. Networked filesystems allows the user, no matter what workstation he or she is using, to have access to his or her files in a centrally managed manner. It is an excellent way to access shared documents, shared workspaces, centrally managing user files, and so on. Some other popular networked filesystem technologies include CODA, AFS, and CIFS.



NFS has been around a long time, however, and is the de facto standard for sharing Unix filesystems worldwide. Today, you can still find Internet software archives, such as Gatekeeper.dec.com (see Resources), that allow you to mount their NFS shares for free.



On a Red Hat machine, setting up an NFS server is not difficult. You will need to make sure that a couple of packages are installed and that NFS support is included in your current kernel. If you're running Red Hat, this is the case by default. The software packages required are nfs-utils and portmap.

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