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How to set up NFS on Ubuntu

December 12th, 2011 No comments

from Ubuntu Docs


The required packages are different depending on if the system is a client or a server. In this Howto, the server is the host that has the files you want to share and the client is the host that will be mounting the NFS share.

  • NFSv4 client
    # apt-get install nfs-common
  • NFSv4 server
    # apt-get install nfs-kernel-server

After you finish installing nfs-kernel-server, you might see failure to start nfs-kernel-server due to missing entries in /etc/exports. Remember to restart the service when you finish configuring.

For the error message:

mount.nfs4: No such device

You will have to load the nfs module with the command

# modprobe nfs


NFSv4 without Kerberos


NFSv4 Server

NFSv4 exports exist in a single pseudo filesystem, where the real directories are mounted with the --bind option. Here is some additional information regarding this fact.

  • Let’s say we want to export our users’ home directories in /home/users. First we create the export filesystem:
    # mkdir /export
    # mkdir /export/users

    and mount the real users directory with:

    # mount --bind /home/users /export/users

    To save us from retyping this after every reboot we add the followingline to /etc/fstab

    /home/users    /export/users   none    bind  0  0
  • In /etc/default/nfs-kernel-server we set:
    NEED_SVCGSSD=no # no is default

    because we are not activating NFSv4 security this time.

  • In /etc/default/nfs-common we set:
    NEED_GSSD=no # no is default
  • To export our directories to a local network add the following two lines to /etc/exports
  • Be aware of the following points:
    • Setting the crossmnt option on the main psuedo mountpoint has the same effect as setting nohide on the sub-exports: It allows the client to map the sub-exports within the psuedo filesystem. These two options are mutually exclusive.
    • Note that when locking down which clients can map an export by setting the IP and subnet mask, does not work. Either do not set any subnet or use /24 as shown. Can someone please provide a reason for this behaviour?
  • Restart the service
    # /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server restart

    On ubuntu 11.04 or later you may also need to start or restart the idmapd with:

    # start idmapd   # or...
    # service idmapd restart


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