Setup NFSv3 on Ubuntu or Debian

NFSv3 is a tried and tested method of allowing client servers to access files over a network, in a very similar fashion to how the files would be accessed on a local file system. As a very mature piece of software, it has been successfully developed and used on production environments for almost 20 years, and it is still widely accepted and supported with a long life ahead of it. Some could make the argument that NFSv4.1 is faster now with pNFS that is now available, but I personally still prefer NFSv3 on many environments.

Setting it up is pretty easy and straight forward. As this is a network file system, it is strongly recommended to setup a private switch or private network between to the servers to ensure the lowest latency, as well as better security.

NFS Server – Installation

Install the required packages on the NFS server:

# Ubuntu and Debian
[[email protected] ~]# apt-get update
[[email protected] ~]# apt-get install rpcbind nfs-common nfs-kernel-server

NFS Server – Configuration

Out of the box, NFSv3 has the following options set which is getting outdated sorely at this time:
– Sets random ephemeral ports upon daemon startup.
– Enables only 8 NFS threads

To make things more easier for admin’s to lock down the firewalls, we are going to set static ports, and also enable 64 NFS threads since you will most likely run into IO problems before you hit this limit as it was meant for much older systems.

Stop the services so we can unload the lockd kernel module and configure static ports. This step cannot be skipped!

# Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04
service nfs-kernel-server stop
service statd stop
service idmapd stop
service rpcbind stop
service portmap stop
modprobe -r nfsd nfs lockd

# Debian 7
service nfs-kernel-server stop
service nfs-common stop
service rpcbind stop
modprobe -r nfsd nfs lockd

Configure STATD and define the static ports:

# Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04
echo "manual" > /etc/init/idmapd.override

vim /etc/default/nfs-common
NEED_STATD=yes
STATDOPTS="-p 662 -o 2020"
NEED_GSSD=no

# Debian 7
vim /etc/default/nfs-common
NEED_STATD=yes
STATDOPTS="-p 662 -o 2020"
NEED_IDMAPD=no
NEED_GSSD=no

Set the static port for LOCKD:

echo "options lockd nlm_udpport=32769 nlm_tcpport=32803" > /etc/modprobe.d/nfs-lockd.conf

Finally, update the NFS thread count by:

vim /etc/default/nfs-kernel-server
...
RPCNFSDCOUNT=64
RPCNFSDPRIORITY=0
RPCMOUNTDOPTS="--manage-gids -p 892"
NEED_SVCGSSD=no
RPCSVCGSSDOPTS=
...

Open the firewall to allow your private network access to the NFS services. You may have to adjust your rules as my private network resides on eth2. Do not allow this on the public interface without adjusting the source IP’s accordingly!

[[email protected] ~]# ufw allow in on eth2 to 192.168.1.0/24 proto tcp
[[email protected] ~]# ufw allow in on eth2 to 192.168.1.0/24 proto udp

Export the directory to be shared, along with its permissions, in /etc/exports:

[[email protected] ~]# vim /etc/exports

/data 192.168.1.0/24(rw,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check)

Now start the services, and ensure they will start at boot time:

# Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04
service rpcbind start
service statd start
service nfs-kernel-server start; update-rc.d nfs-kernel-server enable

# Debian 7
service rpcbind start; insserv rpcbind
service nfs-common start; insserv nfs-common
service nfs-kernel-server start; insserv nfs-kernel-server

Check to make sure the services are running:

[[email protected] ~]# showmount -e
Export list for nfs01.domain.com:
/data 192.168.1.0/24

[[email protected] ~]# rpcinfo -p
   program vers proto   port  service
    100000    4   tcp    111  portmapper
    100000    3   tcp    111  portmapper
    100000    2   tcp    111  portmapper
    100000    4   udp    111  portmapper
    100000    3   udp    111  portmapper
    100000    2   udp    111  portmapper
    100024    1   udp    662  status
    100024    1   tcp    662  status
    100003    2   tcp   2049  nfs
    100003    3   tcp   2049  nfs
    100003    4   tcp   2049  nfs
    100227    2   tcp   2049
    100227    3   tcp   2049
    100003    2   udp   2049  nfs
    100003    3   udp   2049  nfs
    100003    4   udp   2049  nfs
    100227    2   udp   2049
    100227    3   udp   2049
    100021    1   udp  32769  nlockmgr
    100021    3   udp  32769  nlockmgr
    100021    4   udp  32769  nlockmgr
    100021    1   tcp  32803  nlockmgr
    100021    3   tcp  32803  nlockmgr
    100021    4   tcp  32803  nlockmgr
    100005    1   udp    892  mountd
    100005    1   tcp    892  mountd
    100005    2   udp    892  mountd
    100005    2   tcp    892  mountd
    100005    3   udp    892  mountd
    100005    3   tcp    892  mountd

NFS Client – Installation

Now that the NFS server is ready, the NFS clients now need to be setup to connect. Install the required packages on the NFS clients by:

# Ubuntu or Debian
[[email protected] ~]# apt-get update
[[email protected] ~]# apt-get install rpcbind nfs-common

Now start the services:

# Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04
service rpcbind start
service statd start
service idmapd stop
echo "manual" > /etc/init/idmapd.override

# Debian 7
service rpcbind start; insserv rpcbind
service nfs-common start; insserv nfs-common
insserv mountnfs.sh

NFS Client – Configuration

Confirm the NFS clients can see the NFS server:

[[email protected] ~]# showmount -e 192.168.1.1
Export list for 192.168.1.1:
/var/www/vhosts 192.168.1.0/24

[[email protected] ~]# rpcinfo -p 192.168.1.1
   program vers proto   port  service
    100000    4   tcp    111  portmapper
    100000    3   tcp    111  portmapper
    100000    2   tcp    111  portmapper
    100000    4   udp    111  portmapper
    100000    3   udp    111  portmapper
    100000    2   udp    111  portmapper
    100024    1   udp    662  status
    100024    1   tcp    662  status
    100003    2   tcp   2049  nfs
    100003    3   tcp   2049  nfs
    100003    4   tcp   2049  nfs
    100227    2   tcp   2049
    100227    3   tcp   2049
    100003    2   udp   2049  nfs
    100003    3   udp   2049  nfs
    100003    4   udp   2049  nfs
    100227    2   udp   2049
    100227    3   udp   2049
    100021    1   udp  32769  nlockmgr
    100021    3   udp  32769  nlockmgr
    100021    4   udp  32769  nlockmgr
    100021    1   tcp  32803  nlockmgr
    100021    3   tcp  32803  nlockmgr
    100021    4   tcp  32803  nlockmgr
    100005    1   udp    892  mountd
    100005    1   tcp    892  mountd
    100005    2   udp    892  mountd
    100005    2   tcp    892  mountd
    100005    3   udp    892  mountd
    100005    3   tcp    892  mountd

Configure the mount point in /etc/fstab:

[[email protected] ~]# vim /etc/fstab

192.168.1.1:/data  /data  nfs  vers=3,proto=tcp,hard,intr,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,noatime  0  0

Now create the placeholder directory on the client, mount, and verify it works:

[[email protected] ~]# mkdir /data
[[email protected] ~]# mount -a
[[email protected] ~]# df -h
Filesystem          Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/xvda1           20G  1.2G   18G   7% /
none                4.0K     0  4.0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
udev                484M  8.0K  484M   1% /dev
tmpfs                99M  404K   99M   1% /run
none                5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none                495M     0  495M   0% /run/shm
none                100M     0  100M   0% /run/user
192.168.13.1:/data   20G  1.2G   18G   7% /data
[[email protected] ~]#
[[email protected] ~]# grep /data /proc/mounts 
192.168.1.1:/data /data nfs rw,noatime,vers=3,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,namlen=255,hard,proto=tcp,timeo=600,retrans=2,sec=sys,mountaddr=192.168.1.1,mountvers=3,mountport=892,mountproto=tcp,local_lock=none,addr=192.168.1.1 0 0
[[email protected] ~]#
[[email protected] ~]# touch /data/test-file
[[email protected] ~]# ls -al /data/test-file 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Dec 20 01:45 /data/test-file