Strictly speaking, NFS is only required by the JavaStation computer to access and save user data and preferences information. Once a user's home directory has been determined via the NIS automounter map (auto.home), it is mounted using NFS. The default user applications provided with the JavaOS software (HotJava Browser, HotJava Views) only use NFS to read and update preferences information. However, many commercial applets may need to use NFS to access and save data files in the user's home directory.
NFS is also the default mechanism used to provide the JavaOS network boot download for the JavaStation computer. It is important to note that the network boot download can alternately be achieved with TFTP through DHCP directives, which may be useful for JavaStation clients used as fixed-function devices (such as kiosks or point-of-sale devices). However, NFS is much faster than TFTP for this purpose.