Access NAS server using NFS protocol under Linux or UNIX

Posted on in Categories , last updated November 12, 2007

Q. How do I access NAS server using NFS? I am using Redhat Linux (RHEL).

NFS (Network File System) is a protocol originally developed by Sun Microsystems.

NFS used by UNIX and Linux oses as a distributed file system which allows a computer/server/workstation to access files over a network.

NFS is a popular file-sharing protocol for Linux and UNIX. NAS (Network attached storage) also supports NFS configuration.

Linux NFS service

In order to use NFS you need to run portmap service and rpc.statd and rpc.lockd daemons. Use following commands to start these services (RedHat/Fedora Linux):
# chkconfig portmap on
# chkconfig nfslock on
# /etc/init.d/portmap start
# /etc/init.d/nfslock start
Assuming that NAS is configured properly you need to type following command to access NAS (please refer our sample configuration diagram):# mkdir /backup
# mount -o tcp /backup
Linux supports UDP by default and TCP as an option. TCP may improve performance in some cases (as a side effect it may increase the CPU load on the local server). If you want to use UDP just type following command:# mount /backupYou can also mount NFS share by editing /etc/fstab file:# vi /etc/fstabAppend following line: /backup nfs defaults 0 0Save the file and exit to shell prompt.Try to pass following values to mount command improve NFS performance:# mount -t nfs -o nocto, rsize=32768,wsize=32768 /backupWhere,

  • rsize=32768,wsize=32768:This will make your nfs connection faster than with the default buffer size of 4096. risze is read size and wsize is write size.
  • nocto : Suppress the retrieval of new attributes when creating a file.

There are few more options supported to tweak NFS please consult man page of nfs.

A note for FreeBSD users

NFS configuration is a relatively straightforward, all you need to do is open /etc/rc.conf and put following line (FreeBSD client system):# vi /etc/rc.confAppend following line:nfs_client_enable="YES"Save the file and use mount command as follows:
# /etc/init.d/nfsclient start
# mkdir /backup
# mount /backup
There are few options supported to tweak NFS client under FreeBSD please consult man page of nfs/mount for more information.
See also:

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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