System Administration Guide, Volume 1

The NFS Environment

NFS is a distributed file system service that can be used to share resources (files or directories) from one system, typically a server, with other systems across the network. For example, you might want to share third-party applications or source files with users on other systems.

NFS makes the actual physical location of the resource irrelevant to the user. Instead of placing copies of commonly used files on every system, NFS allows you to place one copy on one system's disk and let all other systems access it across the network. Under NFS, remote files are virtually indistinguishable from local ones.

A system becomes an NFS server if it has resources to share over the network. A server keeps a list of currently shared resources and their access restrictions (such as read/write or read-only).

When you share a resource, you make it available for mounting by remote systems.

You can share a resource in these ways:

See Chapter 36, Mounting and Unmounting File Systems (Tasks) for information on how to share resources. See System Administration Guide, Volume 3 for a complete description of NFS.