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NFS Illustrated by Brent Callaghan

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Chapter 11. Automounting

The NFS protocol does not require the use of a global or shared namespace. A global namespace is a feature supported by other distributed filesystems, such as the Andrew File System [Morris+86]. AFS provides a consistent pathname to any remote file from any client machine. AFS servers and their exported filesystems are grouped into cells that are named under an /afs directory. These invariant paths to shared data make it easy to locate files from any client on a network.

The team at Sun Microsystems, Inc., that designed the NFS protocol and built its first implementation had a more basic requirement: that a remote filesystem be managed as if it were a local filesystem. Since filesystems on local disks are mounted using ...

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