Setting up NFS for file sharing

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Proven on:
Logo Debian.png
11 (bullseye) (This includes LMDE5, Proxmox, OMV...)
Logo Windows.png
10 (For the client side anyhow...)
A little note about typographic conventions you'll see here

(A note about LXCs & NFS)

Install NFS Server

  • sudo apt install nfs-kernel-server

Configure NFS Server

  • sudo vi /etc/exports


/PATH/TO/BE/SHARED *(rw,async,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check)

For the changes to take effect, export and start NFS service.

  • sudo exportfs -a
  • sudo /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server start

Pretty simple...

A bit about re-sharing

Sometimes, you may want to share something that you've actually mounted from an NFS share on another machine...

A couple of things are different in this case.

First, you need to ensure that the mounts are done BEFORE you start the NFS server.

  • sudo vi /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server

and add:

echo "Starting out by making sure EVERYTHING is mounted..."
/usr/bin/mount -a
echo "Really..."
echo "This is NOT the right place to do this..."
echo "But, init.d kinda sucks..."

right near the start.

Then you need to provide an fsid entry (with a unique number) for each export.

/PATH/TO/BE/SHARED *(rw,async,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check,fsid=1010)

AND it STILL doesn't start at boot!!!

But, you can force it to start after booting by logging into the machine & telling it:

  • sudo /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server start

Connecting to the NFS Server

From Linux

You'll need NFS installed

  • sudo apt install nfs-common


  • sudo apt install nfs-kernel-server

Then you can check what's shared from any particular machine:

  • showmount -e [SERVERNAME or ADDRESS]
    • (requires sudo on Debian...)

will show you what's shared from a machine

Setting up & mounting a share

  • sudo mkdir -p /PATH/TO/MOUNT/SHARE

Better yet tho...

  • sudo vi /etc/fstab

& add an entry:


Then, you can mount anything listed in fstab but not yet mounted

  • sudo mount -a

From Windows (Win10)

(Tentative Working Notes)

It has come to my attention... PRO & Enterprise only... Sorry

Enabling NFS

First things first... You need to know the UID and GID of the user on the intended share so that you can emulate it.

  • cat /etc/passwd

Find the user that is responsible for the share and grab that number. In this case we will use tinker (so '1000' & '1000') but it could be anything. In this example...


In an Admin Powershell window:

Turn on NFS

  • Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -FeatureName ServicesForNFS-ClientOnly, ClientForNFS-Infrastructure -Online -NoRestart

Set up anonymous credentials to match the credentials of a user with full access to the NFS share from a Linux viewpoint...

Make any servers you connect to think you're somebody important

  • New-ItemProperty HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ClientForNFS\CurrentVersion\Default -Name AnonymousUID -Value 1000 -PropertyType "DWord"
  • New-ItemProperty HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ClientForNFS\CurrentVersion\Default -Name AnonymousGID -Value 1000  -PropertyType "DWord"

The "AnonymousUID" & "AnonymousGID" Value's are the UID & GID of a user on the server with appropriate permissions... (In this case, the first user created on the server(s)) and for this purpose, they do not need to be changed. Leave them anonymous. Make sure that the 1000 is the actual ID you retrieved.

WARNING: If you copy/paste the two lines above, you will find that you can't mount the share (unless you are just lucky and the ID is actually 1000... go buy a lottery ticket). To fix it, you will have to do a regedit and change the DWORD value (in hex) to the correct number. You are on your own for that.

Reboot the computer

Mount the drive(s)

In a regular command shell:

  • EXAMPLE FORMAT - mount -o nolock \\IP_or_FQDN_OF_SHARE\\Directory_Of_Share\Sub_Folder [ DRIVE TO MAP IT TO:]
  • mount -o nolock \\\home\tinker\Documents D:
  • mount -o nolock \\\mnt\Space_1\Pix P:

You can map to a folder on your machine as well if you want it somewhere like the desktop instead(WIP)

EVERY TIME the machine is rebooted, mount the drives... Again...

Make your mount(s) persistant


Open the Startup folder by opening the Run tool and entering shell:startup

Create nfsmount.bat file in that directory with the mount command used above.

If you use Notepad to create that file, make sure to save it as 'All Files' instead of '.txt.'. Otherwise it will be 'nfsmount.bat.txt' and will not work.

This file will be read on startup and will automatically mount the NFS Share.

NFS management From the GUI (sort of...)

Simple NFS GUI for Linux is an option.

Installation can be a bit awkward & it's far from polished tho...

Installing: (On Debian-based systems)

  • sudo apt install gambas3
    • (original instructions attempt to do this via a PPA... Good luck with that...)
  • wget -P ~
    • To download the package
  • sudo dpkg -i ~/simple-nfs-gui_1.0.17-0ubuntu1_all.deb
    • Then install it

Once it's installed, you need to run it as root:

  • sudo -H Simple_NFS_GUI

Kind of a guide to using it

Other Options

  • Webmin has full support for configuring NFS...


  • Learn what flags do what in /etc/exports
  • Look into automounting (including graceful failure modes)
  • Work up some instructions for other non-Linux systems. (Synology, Kodi, Mac)

Some Links