The terms client and server describe the roles that a system assumes when sharing file systems. Servers are systems that share their file systems over a network. The systems that access these file systems are the clients.
Clients access files on the server by mounting the server's shared file systems. When a client mounts a remote file system, the client does not make a copy of the file system. Rather, the mounting process uses a series of remote procedure calls that enable the client to access the server's shared file system transparently. The mount resembles a local mount. You can type commands as if the file systems are local. For more information, see Mounting File Systems.
After a file system has been shared on a server through an NFS operation, the file system can be accessed from a client. You can mount an NFS file system automatically with autofs. For information about autofs, see About Autofs. For information about tasks that involve the share command and autofs, see Automatic File System Sharing and Table 4–1.