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NFS: Network File System Protocol specification (RFC1094)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001903D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 22 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

Sun Microsystems: AUTHOR

Abstract

The Sun Network Filesystem (NFS) protocol provides transparent remote access to shared files across networks. The NFS protocol is designed to be portable across different machines, operating systems, network architectures, and transport protocols. This portability is achieved through the use of Remote Procedure Call (RPC) primitives built on top of an eXternal Data Representation (XDR). Implementations already exist for a variety of machines, from personal computers to supercomputers.

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Network Working Group Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Request for Comments: 1094 March 1989

NFS: Network File System Protocol Specification

STATUS OF THIS MEMO

This RFC describes a protocol that Sun Microsystems, Inc., and others

are using. A new version of the protocol is under development, but

others may benefit from the descriptions of the current protocol, and

discussion of some of the design issues. Distribution of this memo

is unlimited.

1. INTRODUCTION

The Sun Network Filesystem (NFS) protocol provides transparent remote

access to shared files across networks. The NFS protocol is designed

to be portable across different machines, operating systems, network

architectures, and transport protocols. This portability is achieved

through the use of Remote Procedure Call (RPC) primitives built on

top of an eXternal Data Representation (XDR). Implementations

already exist for a variety of machines, from personal computers to

supercomputers.

The supporting mount protocol allows the server to hand out remote

access privileges to a restricted set of clients. It performs the

operating system-specific functions that allow, for example, to

attach remote directory trees to some local file system.

1.1. Remote Procedure Call

Sun's Remote Procedure Call specification provides a procedure-

oriented interface to remote services. Each server supplies a

"program" that is a set of procedures. NFS is one such program. The

combination of host address, program number, and procedure number

specifies one remote procedure. A goal of NFS was to not require any

specific level of reliability from its lower levels, so it could

potentially be used on many underlying transport protocols, or even

another remote procedure call implementation. For ease of

discussion, the rest of this document will assume NFS is implemented

on top of Sun RPC, described in RFC 1057, "RPC: Remote Procedure

Call Protocol Specification".

1.2. External Data Representation

The eXternal Data Representation (XDR) standard provides a common way

of representing a set of data types over a network. The NFS Protocol

Specification is written using the RPC data description language.

For more information, see RFC 1014, "XDR: External Data

Representation Standard". Although automated RPC/XDR compilers exist

to generate server and client "stubs", NFS does not require their

use. Any software that provides equivalent functionality can be

used, and if the encoding is exactly the same it can interoperate

with other implementations of...