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Freebsd Mount a NAS via SMB / CIFS

Q. I want to use our NAS server to store backups. Our NAS supports FTP and CIFS / SMB sharing technology. How do I mount and store files on NAS using FreeBSD? How do I automate entire procedure using a shell script? Is that doable? If so, what’s the easiest solution ftp or CIFS?

A. The mount_smbfs command mounts a share from a remote server using SMB/CIFS protocol. You can easily mount NAS share using the following syntax:

mount_smbfs -I //username@nasserver/share /path/to/local/mnt
Mount data share from nas05 nas server at /nas05 directory, enter:
# mkdir /nas05
# mount_smbfs -I //vivek@nas05/data /nas05

You will be prompted for your password. Once this happens you can change to the directory and view the contents using cd and ls command.
# cd /nas05
# ls
# cp /path/to/file .
# ls -l


  1. -I : Do not use NetBIOS name resolver and connect directly to host, which can be either a valid DNS name or an IP address.
  2. vivek : Your user name.
  3. nas05 : NETBIOS Server Name.
  4. /data : CIFS share name.
  5. /nas05 : Local mount point directory.

Avoid password prompt

You need to create a ~/.nsmbrc file as follows:
# vi ~/.nsmbrc
Set username and password as follows:


Now mount NAS as follows:
# mount_smbfs -N -I //vivek@nas05/data /nas05
The -N option forces to read a password from ~/.nsmbrc file. At run time, mount_smbfs reads the ~/.nsmbrc file for additional configuration parameters and a password. If no password is found, mount_smbfs prompts for it. You need to use the -N option while writing a shell script.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Manuel R. Fernandez Mesa January 27, 2009, 6:13 am

    Hi, Manuel from Malaga, Spain, if you want, you can test FreeNAS proyect, is a minimalist FreeBSD distro specially thinking in NAS, you can find ever VMware virtual machines to test, Very much recommended !!

    Best regards, Manuel.

  • John Darrah June 29, 2011, 10:48 pm

    Great info on the smb mount…I’mn relatively new to *BSD, so this was a big help!

  • Ewout August 17, 2011, 7:39 am

    Thanks for the tip about the SMB password file – I can now mount my NAS from /etc/fstab instead of manually mounting it each time I boot my workstation!

  • rak December 2, 2011, 3:09 am

    You can also put the password setting in /etc/nsmb.conf.

    To do the equivalent of -I automatically, put:


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