Feb 1, 2014

Linux NFS Server

I've been working on moving the network file share on my home network from an NTFS volume with my Asus router acting as a NAS host to an ext4 volume running as an NFS share via a Raspberry Pi. I was starting to have issues with corruption and missing files so I decided to take the time and bulletproof the setup as much as possible.

Rewriting the partition table with fdisk and formatting the drive as ext4 was very simple, but setting up an NFS server was more challenging than it should have been. I'm working on a Raspberry Pi running Debian Wheezy so it seemed like a simple Google search to find what was needed to setup the NFS server. Pretty much every tutorial and set of instructions I ran across seemed to be out dated though. Most referenced the portmap package which has been since replaced in favor of rpcbind. After a lot of tinkering, I've managed to get the most basically configured NFS server up and running. In the hopes of saving others time, I've written up how I set it up below.

Install NFS server and dependencies

sudo apt-get install nfs-kernel-server rpcbind nfs-common

Create or edit /etc/default/rpcbind and make sure it only contains


Edit /etc/hosts.allow and add the network you would like to be able to access your NFS share. In my case it's

portmap: 192.168.1.

Next we need to edit /etc/default/nfs-common to handle NFS4. Make sure NEED_IDMAPD is set to YES


We also need to edit /etc/idmapd.conf. Make the necessary changes so it matches the following. YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE should be the url, hostname or FQDN of your server.

Verbosity = 0
Pipefs-Directory = /var/lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs

Nobody-User = nobody
Nobody-Group = nogroup

Now we can finally configure how and which directory we want to share via NFS. Edit /etc/exports and add a new line. /path/to/shared/folder should be the directory you wish to share, in my case it is a mounted usb drive in /mnt/external. Again you should add the network that you would like to be able to access your NFS share.


Finally we can start our server. rpcbind needs to be started first

sudo /etc/init.d/rpcbind start

And then we can start nfs-kernel-server

sudo /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server start

You should now have a working NFS server! There are many options that you can tweak in /etc/exports depending on your needs, refer to the man page.

Note: rpcbind does not run automaticlly during startup on a Raspberry Pi, this will cause the NFS server to fail to start. If you are running this on a Raspberry Pi you will also need to make rpcbind run on startup by running the following

sudo update-rc.d rpcbind defaults