How To Mount NFS Share In Linux and Windows?


Network File System or NFS is a network-based filesystem protocol which is mainly used to share files and folders over the network. NFS is a UNIX based technology but can be used by most of the operating systems like Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, Kali, Mint, Fedora, CentOS, RedHat and Windows operating systems Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016.

Install NFS Server

NFS packages mainly divided into two parts. First is the server side packages which will install related kernel modules and server tools.

Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali Client Packages

$ sudo apt-get install nfs-common

Fedora, CentOS, Fedora Client Packages

$ sudo yum install nfs-utils

Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali Server Packages

$ sudo apt-get install nfs-kernel-server
Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali Server Packages
Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali Server Packages

After the installation is complete the nfs-server service will be also created automatically.

Fedora, CentOS, Fedora Server Packages

$ sudo yum install nfs-utils

Check NFS Service Status

As the NFS shares will be served over nfs-server we need to the if it is working. We will use systemctl status command with the nfs-server service name.

$ sudo systemctl status nfs-server
Check NfS Service Status
Check NfS Service Status

We can see that the service is active and working properly.

Start NFS Service

If the service is not started or stopped in any way we need to start the nfs-server service. We will use systemctl start command with the nfs-server service name like below.

$ sudo systemctl start nfs-server

Create NFS Share

NFS main configuration is stored in the /etc/exports file. Each share is created line by line. For example, if we want to share /mnt with the IP address 192.168.10.10  we will use the following configuration.

/mnt     192.168.10.10

But generally, we share the files and folders with everyone who has access to the NFS server. We can use the following configuration to share everyone.

/mnt     *

Enable Exports

After creating the share configuration we need to refresh the NFS table where the shares are stored. We can simply use exportfs command with the -a option which will add current configuration to the NFS table.

$ sudo exportfs -a

Mount NFS Share For Linux

We can use mount command in order to mount NFS share. We will specify the filesystem type as nfs to the mount command with the -t option like below. The server IP address is 192.168.142.144 and share is /mnt . We will mount to the /home/ismail/poftut1.

$ sudo mount -t nfs 192.168.142.144:/mnt /home/ismail/poftut1/

List NFS Mounts

After mounting the NFS share we can check it by listing the NFS mount. We will use mount command and filter NFS shares with the grep command like below.

$ mount | grep nfs
List NFS Mounts
List NFS Mounts

Unmount NFS Share For Linux

We can unmount already mounted NFS shares with the umount command. We will just specify the mount path to the umount command with the sudo  command like below.

$ sudo umount /home/ismail/poftut1

Mount NFS Share For Windows

First, we will enable NFS modules or features on Windows operating systems. Open Start > Control Panel > Programs. Select Turn Windows Features on or off. Select Services for NFS. Click OK.

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We can mount NFS shares in Windows operating systems too. We will use mount command. We will also provide nolock option and other parameters like remote NFS server IP address and local drive which is Z in this case.

> mount -o nolock 192.168.142.144:/mnt z:

Alternatively, we can use net use command which can also mount NFS shares. We will provide the partition name which is z and remote NFS server.

> net use z: \\192.168.142.144\mnt

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