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Mac OS X Panther in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition by Jason McIntosh, Chuck Toporek, Chris Stone

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NFS

The Network File System (NFS) is a distributed filesystem that allows users to mount remote filesystems as if they were local. From the Finder’s point of view, an NFS-mounted filesystem appears as a disk, usually (but not necessarily) appearing under the special /Network/Servers folder.

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.

Both mounting and serving filesystems through NFS involve setting up configuration information in NetInfo, and then running command-line programs or launching (or reloading) daemons. For more about NetInfo, see Chapter 11.

You must also have user and group IDs in agreement among all the machines involved in an NFS connection. If your username and UID are jmac and 501 on your machine, you should also have UID 501 on any machine whose directories you have mounted. Discrepancies can lead to confusion with filesystem permissions.

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