NFS Howto Preamble

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Copyright (c) <2002> by Tavis Barr, Nicolai Langfeldt, Seth Vidal, Tom McNeal, and Christopher M. Smith. This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at


This document is provided without any guarantees, including merchantability or fitness for a particular use. The maintainers cannot be responsible if following instructions in this document leads to damaged equipment or data, angry neighbors, strange habits, divorce, or any other calamity.


A document such as this NFS Howto takes a lot of time and effort to maintain--especially one that grows organically on a Wiki or other public resource. The goal is also to make this document a repository of validated and tested information that carries a reputation of accuracy. As such, this document is maintained in a "protected" state. What does this mean to you as a reader? It means that each piece of information listed here has been:

  • Reviewed by one of the maintainers of this document for technical accuracy, clarity, and completeness. Does this mean the document won't occasionally have mistakes? Absolutely not! We're human after all! What it does mean is that to the best of our knowledge and effort, this document will provide you the right answers for the questions you have.
  • Free of vandalism, errant changes, advertisements, or other sorts of distracting problems that can sometimes arise with a community Wiki. Yes, we know that if you're taking the time to read this section of the document you're unlikely to be doing these sorts of things but it is meant to explain another reason why this document can't be edited or changed by just anyone. As an example, any place that security advice is given such as in the Security and NFS portions of this document, we as the authors of this document are trying to protect you from having to worry about whether or not the advice given here has been maliciously changed to cause you grief and introduce security problems into your environment.

So, with all that said--does that mean we're not looking for contributions or assistance with maintaining this document? Absolutely not! The only way that the NFS Howto can become the kind of community driven, adaptive document we want it to be is with your help. How can you get involved? Glad you asked!

  1. Reporting errors or problems with the existing documentation via the Linux-NFS mailing list. If you notice a problem or find something that isn't written clearly or doesn't explain things correctly, point it out! We'll apply a fix for it as soon as possible and work with you to correct it.
  2. Add to existing documentation to cover things in more detail or explore new subject matter. Find that you've had to do something plenty of times that isn't documented that has caused you some pain? Draft it up in the NFS Howto Submissions area of the Wiki and drop an email to the Linux-NFS mailing list to let us know its there. We'll take a look at it, work with you on testing and reviewing the solution you propose, and incorporate your changes into the Howto.
  3. Bringing up subject matter areas that you'd like to see covered in the document, but aren't sure how to do. Again, using the NFS Mailing List as a focal point for discusson, suggest the additional subject matter you'd like covered. Odds are, we can hash this out as a group and come up with a working idea.

This will never be a finished document; we welcome feedback about how it can be improved. As of February 2006, the Linux NFS home page is being hosted at Check there for mailing lists, bug fixes, and updates, and also to verify who currently maintains this document.


If you are able to translate this document into another language, we would be grateful and we will also do our best to assist you. Please notify the maintainers.


NFS on Linux was made possible by a collaborative effort of many people, but a few stand out for special recognition. The original version was developed by Olaf Kirch and Alan Cox. The version 3 server code was solidified by Neil Brown, based on work from Saadia Khan, James Yarbrough, Allen Morris, H.J. Lu, and others (including himself). The client code was written by Olaf Kirch and updated by Trond Myklebust. The version 4 lock manager was developed by Saadia Khan. Dave Higgen and H.J. Lu both have undertaken the thankless job of extensive maintenance and bug fixes to get the code to actually work the way it was supposed to. H.J. has also done extensive development of the nfs-utils package. Of course this dedication is leaving many people out.

The original version of this document was developed by Nicolai Langfeldt. It was heavily rewritten in 2000 by Tavis Barr and Seth Vidal to reflect substantial changes in the workings of NFS for Linux developed between the 2.0 and 2.4 kernels. It was edited again in February 2002, when Tom McNeal made substantial additions to the performance section. Thomas Emmel, Neil Brown, Trond Myklebust, Erez Zadok, and Ion Badulescu also provided valuable comments and contributions.

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