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2.5. Overview of NFS

The Network File System (NFS) is a distributed filesystem that allows users to mount remote filesystems as if they were local. NFS uses a client-server model, in which a server exports directories to be shared, and clients mount the directories to access the files in them. NFS eliminates the need to keep copies of files on several machines by letting the clients all share a single copy of a file on the server. NFS is an RPC-based application-level protocol. For more information on the architecture of network protocols, see Section 2.3, "Overview of TCP/IP" earlier in this chapter.

2.5.1. Administering NFS

Setting up NFS clients and servers involves starting the NFS daemons, exporting filesystems from the NFS servers, and mounting them on the clients. The /etc/exports file is the NFS server configuration file; it controls which files and directories are exported and what kinds of access are allowed. Names and addresses for clients receiving services are kept in the /etc/hosts file.

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