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The Network File System is often shrouded in mystery. But there is nothing to be scared of. It's simple. Here are a few easy steps to installing a nfs server:
Install the software. On Debian you can do this like this:
apt-get install nfs-user-server
Debian will automatically ensure that the nfs server is running, other distrubutions may require you to edit your start up scripts.
Of course, if you want to use the kernel server, which is faster and better for a machine that will mostly be used as an nfs server, you have to have a kernel with nfsd compiled in and install the kernel server tools which on Debian is:
apt-get install nfs-kernel-server
Ensure /etc/hosts.deny and /etc/hosts.allow are edited. For example in hosts.deny you might want to put:
to ensure a secure system. In hosts.allow put something like
to allow connections from your local network.
Edit /etc/exports. This allows clients to mount shared directories. On my server, I've put:
More info on the options you might use is in 'man exports'.
Finally, the client machine needs to mount it:
mount -t nfs host.name:/path/to/directory /mnt