NFS Server and Client Installation on CentOS 7

01/11/2021

1 Preliminary Note

I have fresh installed CentOS 7 server, on which I am going to install the NFS server. My CentOS server have hostname server1.example.com and IP as 192.168.0.100

If you don’t have a CentOS server installed yet, use this tutorial for the basic operating system installation. Additionally to the server, we need a CentOS 7 client machine, this can be either a server or desktop system. In my case, I will use a CentOS 7 desktop with hostname  client1.example.com and IP  192.168.0.101 as a client. I will run all the commands in this tutorial as the root user.

2 At NFS server end

As the first step, we will install these packages on the CentOS server with yum:

yum install nfs-utils

Now create the directory that will be shared by NFS:

mkdir /var/nfsshare

Change the permissions of the folder as follows:

chmod -R 755 /var/nfsshare
chown nfsnobody:nfsnobody /var/nfsshare

We use /var/nfsshare as a shared folder, if we use another drive such as the /home directory, then the permission changes will cause a massive permissions problem and ruin the whole hierarchy. So in case, we want to share the /home directory then permissions must not be changed.
Next, we need to start the services and enable them to be started at boot time.

systemctl enable rpcbind
systemctl enable nfs-server
systemctl enable nfs-lock
systemctl enable nfs-idmap
systemctl start rpcbind
systemctl start nfs-server
systemctl start nfs-lock
systemctl start nfs-idmap

Now we will share the NFS directory over the network a follows:

nano /etc/exports

We will make two sharing points  /home and /var/nfsshare. Edit the exports file as follows:

/var/nfsshare    192.168.0.101(rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_all_squash)
/home            192.168.0.101(rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_all_squash)

Note 192.168.0.101 is the IP of the client machine, if you wish that any other client should access it you need to add it IP wise otherwise you can add “*” instead of IP for all IP access.

Condition is that it must be pingable at both ends.

Finally, start the NFS service:

systemctl restart nfs-server

Again we need to add the NFS service override in CentOS 7 firewall-cmd public zone service as:

firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=nfs
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=mountd
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=rpc-bind
firewall-cmd --reload

Note: If it will be not done, then it will give error for Connection Time Out at client side.

Now we are ready with the NFS server part.

3 NFS client end

In my case, I have a CentOS 7 desktop as client. Other CentOS versions will also work the same way. Install the nfs-utild package as follows:

yum install nfs-utils

Now create the NFS directory mount points:

mkdir -p /mnt/nfs/home
mkdir -p /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare

Next, we will mount the NFS shared home directory in the client machine as shown below:

mount -t nfs 192.168.0.100:/home /mnt/nfs/home/

It will mount /home of NFS server. Next we will mount the /var/nfsshare directory:

 mount -t nfs 192.168.0.100:/var/nfsshare /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare/

Now we are connected with the NFS share, we will crosscheck it as follows:

df -kh
[root@client1 ~]# df -kh
Filesystem                    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/centos-root        39G  1.1G   38G   3% /
devtmpfs                      488M     0  488M   0% /dev
tmpfs                         494M     0  494M   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs                         494M  6.7M  487M   2% /run
tmpfs                         494M     0  494M   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/mapper/centos-home        19G   33M   19G   1% /home
/dev/sda1                     497M  126M  372M  26% /boot
192.168.0.100:/var/nfsshare   39G  980M   38G   3% /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare
192.168.0.100:/home           19G   33M   19G   1% /mnt/nfs/home
[root@client1 ~]#

So we are connected with the NFS share.

Now we will check the read/write permissions in the shared path. At client enter the command:

touch /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare/test_nfs

So we successfully configured an NFS-share.

4 Permanent NFS mounting

We have to re-mount the NFS share at the client after every reboot. Here are the steps to mount it permanently by adding the NFS-share in /etc/fstab file of client machine:

nano /etc/fstab

Add the entries like this:

[...]
192.168.0.100:/home    /mnt/nfs/home   nfs defaults 0 0
192.168.0.100:/var/nfsshare    /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare   nfs defaults 0 0

Note 192.168.0.100 is the server NFS-share  IP address, it will vary in your case.

This will make the permanent mount of the NFS-share. Now you can reboot the machine and mount points will be permanent even after the reboot.

Cheers, now we have a successfully configured NFS-server over CentOS 7 🙂

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