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Old 05-07-2008, 05:53 PM   #1
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network file system (NFS) and other file systems

I am kinda new about the file system term.
I thought that NFS is another file system that you have to format your drive as nfs, instead of other fs format, like ext2 or ext3.

Recently I found an article saying that nfs is setup on top of ext3.
Can someone help me understand it please?
Old 05-07-2008, 05:58 PM   #2
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to over simplify, nfs is just a way to connect to a drive over a network. The drive is managed by the machine that it lives on & can therefore be any filesystem that machine can support. nfs manages the reading/writing over the network, but still leaves the actual disk read/write to the machine that hosts the drive.

so an nfs drive can run any filesystem that the host computer supports. The client computer doesn't need to know what filesystem is used on the host machine.

Last edited by BrianK; 05-07-2008 at 06:00 PM.
Old 05-07-2008, 11:17 PM   #3
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So samba is one of the nfs then , right?
Old 05-07-2008, 11:26 PM   #4
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NFS is a specific sytem for managing drives (or parts thereof) over a network. Samba does something similar, but isn't NFS (same as a Mercedes is a car, but a BMW isn't a Mercedes - try that for a Chrysler?).

NFS is exclusive (?) to the *NIX world, whereas Samba is based on the SMB protocol for allowing Windows machines to see linux and other drives.
Old 05-08-2008, 02:01 AM   #5
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NFS was designed on UNIX, later MS built NFS drivers as well.
As above, its really a (specific) network protocol to share drives, similar, BUT different to eg Samba (which is actually a convenient name for the SMB/CIFS protocol from MS).

Assuming you've got all the reqd drivers, you can 'share' Linux-MS, Linux-Linux, MS-MS using either (or even both!) protocols.
Note NFS is really just for (relatively) dumb sharing of disks. Samba also shares printers and you can use it to have Linux
servers as PDC/BDC in Windows domains.


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