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Setting Up An NFS Server And Client On OpenSUSE 11.3


This guide explains how to set up an NFS server and an NFS client on OpenSUSE 11.3. NFS stands for Network File System; through NFS, a client can access (read, write) a remote share on an NFS server as if it was on the local hard disk.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Preliminary Note

I’m using two OpenSUSE systems here:

  • NFS Server: server.example.com, IP address: 192.168.0.100
  • NFS Client: client.example.com, IP address: 192.168.0.101

 

2 Installing NFS

server:

On the NFS server we run:

yast2 -i nfs-kernel-server

Then we create the system startup links for the NFS server and start it:

chkconfig –add nfsserver
/etc/init.d/nfsserver start

client:

On the client we can install NFS as follows:

yast2 -i nfs-client

 

3 Exporting Directories On The Server

server:

I’d like to make the directories /home and /var/nfs accessible to the client; therefore we must “export” them on the server.

When a client accesses an NFS share, this normally happens as the user nobody. Usually the /home directory isn’t owned by nobody (and I don’t recommend to change its ownership to nobody!), and because we want to read and write on /home, we tell NFS that accesses should be made as root (if our /home share was read-only, this wouldn’t be necessary). The /var/nfs directory doesn’t exist, so we can create it and change its ownership to nobody and nogroup:

mkdir /var/nfs
chown nobody:nogroup /var/nfs

Now we must modify /etc/exports where we “export” our NFS shares. We specify /home and /var/nfs as NFS shares and tell NFS to make accesses to /home as root (to learn more about /etc/exports, its format and available options, take a look at

man 5 exports

)

vi /etc/exports

# See the exports(5) manpage for a description of the syntax of this file.
# This file contains a list of all directories that are to be exported to
# other computers via NFS (Network File System).
# This file used by rpc.nfsd and rpc.mountd. See their manpages for details
# on how make changes in this file effective.

/home           192.168.0.101(rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check)
/var/nfs        192.168.0.101(rw,sync,no_subtree_check)

(The no_root_squash option makes that /home will be accessed as root.)

Whenever we modify /etc/exports, we must run

exportfs -a

afterwards to make the changes effective.

 

4 Mounting The NFS Shares On The Client

client:

First we create the directories where we want to mount the NFS shares, e.g.:

mkdir -p /mnt/nfs/home
mkdir -p /mnt/nfs/var/nfs

Afterwards, we can mount them as follows:

mount 192.168.0.100:/home /mnt/nfs/home
mount 192.168.0.100:/var/nfs /mnt/nfs/var/nfs

You should now see the two NFS shares in the outputs of

df -h

client:~ # df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2              12G  1.3G  9.8G  12% /
devtmpfs              245M  132K  245M   1% /dev
tmpfs                 247M  4.0K  247M   1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda3              18G  172M   17G   2% /srv
192.168.0.100:/home    12G  1.5G  9.6G  14% /mnt/nfs/home
192.168.0.100:/var/nfs
12G  1.5G  9.6G  14% /mnt/nfs/var/nfs
client:~ #

and

mount

client:~ # mount
/dev/sda2 on / type ext4 (rw,acl,user_xattr)
proc on /proc type proc (rw)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
debugfs on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
devtmpfs on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,mode=1777)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,mode=0620,gid=5)
/dev/sda3 on /srv type ext4 (rw,acl,user_xattr)
securityfs on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
none on /proc/fs/vmblock/mountPoint type vmblock (rw)
192.168.0.100:/home on /mnt/nfs/home type nfs (rw,addr=192.168.0.100)
192.168.0.100:/var/nfs on /mnt/nfs/var/nfs type nfs (rw,addr=192.168.0.100)
client:~ #

 

5 Testing

On the client, you can now try to create test files on the NFS shares:

client:

touch /mnt/nfs/home/test.txt
touch /mnt/nfs/var/nfs/test.txt

Now go to the server and check if you can see both test files:

server:

ls -l /home/

server:~ # ls -l /home/
total 4
drwxr-xr-x 6 administrator users 4096 Jul 19 17:26 administrator
-rw-r–r– 1 root          root     0 Sep 14 20:47 test.txt
server:~ #

ls -l /var/nfs

server:~ # ls -l /var/nfs
total 0
-rw-r–r– 1 nobody nogroup 0 Sep 14 20:47 test.txt
server:~ #

(Please note the different ownerships of the test files: the /home NFS share gets accessed as root, therefore /home/test.txt is owned by root; the /var/nfs share gets accessed as nobody, therefore /var/nfs/test.txt is owned by nobody.)
6 Mounting NFS Shares At Boot Time

Instead of mounting the NFS shares manually on the client, you could modify /etc/fstab so that the NFS shares get mounted automatically when the client boots.

client:

Open /etc/fstab and append the following lines:

vi /etc/fstab

[…]
192.168.0.100:/home /mnt/nfs/home nfs rw,sync,hard,intr 0 0
192.168.0.100:/var/nfs /mnt/nfs/var/nfs nfs rw,sync,hard,intr 0 0

Instead of rw,sync,hard,intr you can use different mount options. To learn more about available options, take a look at

man nfs

To test if your modified /etc/fstab is working, reboot the client:

reboot

After the reboot, you should find the two NFS shares in the outputs of

df -h

client:~ # df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2 12G 1.3G 9.8G 12% /
devtmpfs 245M 132K 245M 1% /dev
tmpfs 247M 4.0K 247M 1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda3 18G 172M 17G 2% /srv
192.168.0.100:/home 12G 1.5G 9.6G 14% /mnt/nfs/home
192.168.0.100:/var/nfs
12G 1.5G 9.6G 14% /mnt/nfs/var/nfs
client:~ #

and

mount

client:~ # mount
/dev/sda2 on / type ext4 (rw,acl,user_xattr)
proc on /proc type proc (rw)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
debugfs on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
devtmpfs on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,mode=1777)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,mode=0620,gid=5)
/dev/sda3 on /srv type ext4 (rw,acl,user_xattr)
securityfs on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
rpc_pipefs on /var/lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs type rpc_pipefs (rw)
192.168.0.100:/home on /mnt/nfs/home type nfs (rw,sync,hard,intr,addr=192.168.0.100)
192.168.0.100:/var/nfs on /mnt/nfs/var/nfs type nfs (rw,sync,hard,intr,addr=192.168.0.100)
none on /proc/fs/vmblock/mountPoint type vmblock (rw)
client:~ #
7 Links

Linux NFS: http://nfs.sourceforge.net/
OpenSUSE: http://www.opensuse.org/

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