Setting up a Fedora NFS server

Setting up a Linux NFS (Network File System) server has never been anything challenging. However there are a few security issues worth having a look at: especiall the firewall-part of the business.

In the following guide, we are going to have a look at a convenient way of creating an NFS server from behind Fedora’s built-in iptables firewall.

Setting up the NFS Configuration files


The /etc/exports file is for storing information about your NFS shares: the name of the folder to share, the IP address(es) of hosts to access your share and the rights connected to your share.

A typical /etc/exports file should look like this:


An exports file consists of 2 columns and at least 1 row.

Each row corresponds to a folder (a share, if you like), where the columns contain the settings to the folder of their row.

The first column contains the full path on the computer to the folder you wish to share, the second column is for the IP addresses of the hosts you are sharing to. The letters in brackets are for the privileges. For example, ro stands for “read only” and rw is for “read and write”. For further options, you might want to visit

In the example, you are sharing your /usr/local and your /home folder to and Both machines have read-only privileges on the first, and read and write priviliges on the second folder.


This file is for listing the hosts that are not allowed to access your shares. As the /etc/hosts.allow (see the next title) overwrites this file it is best to list all servers here. Enter the following to this file:


With your /etc/hosts.deny set like this and without an /etc/hosts.allow, no machines are allowed to see your NFS shares.


To allow your machine(s) to access your NFS shares, add the following lines to your file, and replace the IPs with the IP(s) of your machine(s).

portmap: ,
lockd: ,
rquotad: ,
mountd: ,
statd: ,

If you have only one machine to grant access to, delete the comma and the numbers behind.

Setting up NFS to work from behind Fedora’s iptables firewall


This file controls the ports which NFS is going to use. Copy the following lines into the file. Doing so is not a security risk, as you are likely to be behind a router (if you want to use network file sharing), and this doesen’t (yet) mean opening the ports in the firewall.

Getting configuration files (tested on Fedora Core 5)

Download and save these configuration files to a tool folder in your home.

To get NFS working on your server, init the nfstart script by typing with root privileges

sh ~/tool/nfstart

For setting up an NFS client, see


~ by barna on 2006 August 17.

19 Responses to “Setting up a Fedora NFS server”

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  4. This articla assumes that the ip addresses of the client systems are known ahead of time. What do we do in the case of DHCP based dynamic clients?

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  17. I tried this method on a gentoo machine,it mounts but:
    ls: cannot open directory /home/earthy/asinn/: Permission denied
    and when I check with ls -l :
    ls -l /home/earthy/
    total 794027
    drwx—— 61 500 500 4096 Mar 27 2011 asinn
    I cannot change it with root nor user so it is a useless mount.
    I know this is very old post but it seems to work for me up to that last point.

  18. The links here are not working. Where can I download these configuration files:

    ■nfs_firewallopen (used to open your firewall for nfs and portmap ports)
    ■nfs_servicestart (used to start nfs services)
    ■nfstart (to execute the 2 scripts above)
    ■nfs_firewallclose (used to close your opened nfs and portmap ports)
    ■nfs_servicestop (used to stop nfs services)
    ■nfstop (to execute the 2 scripts above)


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