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Network File System (NFS) Protocol

What is NFS (Network File System)?

NFS, or Network File System, was designed in 1984 by Sun Microsystems. This distributed file system protocol allows a user on a client computer to access files over a network in the same way they would access a local storage file. Because it is an open standard, anyone can implement the protocol. NFS started in-system as an experiment but the second version was publicly released after the initial success.

How does NFS work?

To access data stored on another machine (i.e. a server) the server would implement NFS daemon processes to make data available to clients. The server administrator determines what to make available and ensures it can recognize validated clients.

From the client's side, the machine requests access to exported data, typically by issuing a mount command. If successful, the client machine can then view and interact with the file systems within the decided parameters.