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Managing Network File Systems in Oracle® Solaris 11.4

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Updated: August 2021

How NFS Referrals Work

Starting in the Oracle Solaris 11.1 release, NFS referrals enable an NFS Version 4 server to point to file systems located on other NFS Version 4 servers as a way of connecting multiple NFS Version 4 servers into a uniform namespace.

NFS Version 2, NFS Version 3, and other types of clients can follow a referral because it appears to them to be a symbolic link.

When to Use NFS Referrals

NFS referrals are useful when you want to create what appears to be a single set of file names across multiple servers, and you prefer not to use autofs for this purpose. Note that only NFS Version 4 servers can be used and that the servers must be running at least the Oracle Solaris 11.1 release to host a referral.

Creating an NFS Referral

You create an NFS referral by using the nfsref command. When a referral is created and the mount point does not yet exist, a symbolic link is generated. This symbolic link includes a special flag that identifies an object as a reparse point. A reparse point is a special marker used to note that special handling is required. If the reparse point already exists, NFS service data is added or replaces existing NFS service data, as appropriate.

Removing an NFS Referral

You remove NFS referral by using the nfsref command. The command removes NFS service data from the specified reparse point. It also removes the reparse point if no other types of service data are present.