Network File System (NFS)

Network File is a practical protocol specializing in file sharing.

It allows two different types of file systems to interoperate. It works in this following order: Suppose the NFS server software is running on an NT server, and the NFS client software is running on a Unix host.

NFS allows for a portion of the RAM on the NT server to transparently store Unix files, which can, in turn, be used by Unix users. Even though the NT file system and Unix file system are unlike—they have different case sensitivity, filename lengths, security, and so on—both Unix users and NT users can access that same file with their normal file systems, in their normal way.

NFS has many practical uses. Some of the more common uses include:

· Data that would otherwise be duplicated on each client can be kept in a single location and accessed by clients on the network.

· Several clients may need access to the /usr/ports/distfiles directory. Sharing that directory allows for quick access to the source files without having to download them to each client.

· On large networks, it is often more convenient to configure a central NFS server on which all user home directories are stored. Users can log into a client anywhere on the network and have access to their home directories.

· Administration of NFS exports is simplified. For example, there is only one file system where security or backup policies must be set.

· Removable media storage devices can be used by other machines on the network. This reduces the number of devices throughout the network and provides a centralized location to manage their security. It is often more convenient to install software on multiple machines from a centralized installation media.

NFS consists of a server and one or more clients. The client remotely accesses the data that is stored on the server machine. In order for this to function properly, a few processes have to be configured and running.

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