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Lesson 1

Network File Services with NFS

Computers show their power when they are networked. What one machine can do, a networked collection can do better. Sharing files is one example. Centralized, networked files give an unlimited number of users access to the same data from anywhere in the world.
NFS (Network File System) is Linux's file-sharing muscle. With NFS, users can access files and directories from the next cubicle or the next continent. Without physical boundaries, work becomes easier and more productive.
However, improperly configured NFS systems can spell disaster, because your files could fall into the wrong hands. In this module, you will learn what NFS is, how to mitigate the risks of using it, how to set it up on Red Hat Linux, and how to use it to maximize your machine's productivity. In the next lesson, you will learn about the Network File System.

Learning objectives

After completing this module, you will be able to:
  1. Describe the Network File System
  2. Explain the relationship between remote procedure calls and NFS
  3. Configure a NFS server
  4. List potential NFS security problems and resolutions
  5. Start and stop NFS
  6. Display currently mounted NFS filesystems
  7. Mount remote filesystems automatically with automounter
  8. List common NFS problems and resolutions

Red Hat Linux Certification

Filesystems in Red Hat Linux

The filesystems in Red Hat Linux are organized according to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS), which defines the directory structure and layout for Linux-based operating systems. The FHS provides a standardized way to organize files and directories across different Linux distributions, and ensures that applications and system components can find the files and resources that they need.
Here are some of the key directories in the Red Hat Linux filesystem hierarchy:
  1. /: The root directory of the filesystem, which contains all other directories and files.
  2. /bin: Binary files, including essential command-line utilities and system tools.
  3. /boot: Files related to the boot process, including boot loader configurations, kernel images, and initrd (initial RAM disk) files.
  4. /dev: Device files, which represent hardware devices and allow applications to interact with them.
  5. /etc: Configuration files for system components and applications, including user accounts, network settings, and startup scripts.
  6. /home: Home directories for user accounts.
  7. /lib: Shared libraries required by the system and applications.
  8. /media: Mount point for removable media such as CDs, DVDs, and USB drives.
  9. /mnt: Mount point for temporary filesystems or remote filesystems.
  10. /opt: Optional software packages installed on the system.
  11. /proc: A virtual filesystem that provides information about system resources and processes.
  12. /root: Home directory for the root user account.
  13. /sbin: System binaries, including essential system administration tools.
  14. /tmp: Temporary files that can be deleted without harm.
  15. /usr: Files related to the core system and user applications, including libraries, headers, and documentation.
  16. /var: Variable data files, including logs, spool files, and temporary files.

This is a brief overview of the filesystem organization in Red Hat Linux according to the FHS. The exact directory structure and layout may vary depending on the specific version and configuration of Red Hat Linux.

Working with File Systems

File systems in Red Hat Linux are organized in a hierarchy, beginning from root (/) and continuing downward in a structure of directories and subdirectories. As an administrator of a Red Hat Linux system, it is your duty to make sure that all the disk drives that represent your file system are available to the users of the computer. It is also your job to make sure that there is enough disk space in the right places in the file system for users to store the information they need. File systems are organized differently in Linux than they are in MS Windows operating systems. Instead of drive letters (e.g., A:, B:, C:) for each local disk, network file system, CD-ROM, or other type of storage medium, everything fits neatly into the directory structure. It is up to an administrator to create a mount point in the file system and then connect the disk to that point in the file system.
The organization of your file system begins when you install Linux. Part of the installation process is to divide your hard disk (or disks) into partitions. Those partitions can then be assigned to:
  1. A part of the Linux file system,
  2. Swap space for Linux, or
  3. Other file system types (perhaps containing other bootable operating systems.)