NFS Server and Client Installation on CentOS 7

NFS Server and Client Installation on CentOS 7

This guide explains how to configure an NFS server on CentOS 7. Network File System (NFS) is a popular distributed filesystem protocol that enables users to mount remote directories on their server. NFS lets you leverage storage space in a different location and allows you to write onto the same space from multiple servers or clients in an effortless manner. It, thus, works fairly well for directories that users need to access frequently. This tutorial explains the process of mounting an NFS share on a CentOS 7.6 server in simple and easy-to-follow steps.

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

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 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:


Note 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 /mnt/nfs/home/

It will mount /home of NFS server. Next we will mount the /var/nfsshare directory:
 mount -t nfs /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   39G  980M   38G   3% /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare           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:
[...] /mnt/nfs/home nfs defaults 0 0 /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare nfs defaults 0 0

Note 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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