About a month ago I did a write up on setting up Samba sharing in WHS. Today I will take a look at setting up Network File System (NFS)in WHS. Like SMB and HTTP, NFS is another mechanism that some media streaming devices use to allow access to your files over the network. The main reason why I decided to test out NFS is because I kept running into performance issues with SMB on some of my media players (i.e. PCH C-200 and Xtreamer) and NFS has been noted to perform better with large files. We are going to use the free Windows Services for UNIX software.
- Windows Services for UNIX Version 3.5 (download to your desktop)
- group.txt (you can just download this to your My Documents folder or really any folder)
- password.txt (you can just download this to your My Documents folder or really any folder)
Installing The Windows Services Software in WHS:
- Extract all files from the Windows Services download (I just extract to a folder labeled “NFS” on my desktop) and run “SfuSetup.msi”. Click “Next” on the welcome screen to get started. The installation process is relatively easy with most selections being the default selections, but I will go through each step.
- Customer Information – Verify your customer information. I just left the default information in place
- License and Support Information – Accept the End-User License Agreement
- Installation Options – We are only going to need the NFS components, so select “Custom Installation”
- Select Components – Select only “Server for NFS” and “Server for NFS authentication”. Make sure a red X is next to all other components
- Security settings - leave this unchecked and hit Next
- User Name Mapping – Make sure “Local User Name Mapping Server” and “Network Information Service (NIS)” are selected and click Next. Make sure your Windows Domain Name is selected (in my case \\HPSTORAGE for the EX495) and click Next.
- Installation Location – choose the drive you want the Windows Services installed, I chose the C: drive.
- You should have now successfully completed the Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX Setup wizard.
Configuring The NFS Server Mapping:
With everything now installed it is time to configure the user name mapping for the NFS server. Go to Start Menu -> All Programs -> Windows Services for UNIX -> Services for UNIX Administration
- Highlight “User Name Mapping”. Under Configuration select “Use Password and Group files”. In the section below click “Browse…” and select the “password.txt” file for “Password file path and name:”, and “group.txt” file for “Group file path and name:”. Once done click the Apply button at the upper right hand corner.
- Now go to the “Maps” section and do the following:
- select “Show User Maps”
- click “Lists Windows Users” and “List UNIX Users”
- select “Guest” under “Windows users:”, and “root” under “UNIX users:”
- click “Add” button and the entry will appear at the bottom “Mapped users:” box
- select “Show Group Maps”
- click “Lists Windows Groups” and “List UNIX Groups”
- select “Guests” under “Windows groups:”, and “root” under “UNIX groups:”
- click “Add” button and the entry will appear at the bottom “Mapped groups:” box
- finally click the upper right “Apply” button.
Configuring Windows Firewall:
- To make sure the NFS Server works properly the next step is to add exceptions to the Windows Firewall. Go to Control Panel -> Windows Firewall, click on the “Exception” tab, and then click on the “Add Port” button. The following exceptions should be added:
- RPC portmap port: TCP and UDP 111
- Sun Neo port: TCP and UDP 1048
- NFS port: TCP and UDP 2049
- When completed you should now see the six exceptions created in the list of “Programs and Services:”
Enabling NFS Sharing:
- We are almost there! The last step is to enable nfs sharing for the folder(s) you wish to share. Navigate to the folder you wish to share via Windows Explorer (in my case I wanted to share my “shares” folder on my D: drive). Right click on the folder, select properties, go to the “NFS Sharing” tab, and select “Share this folder”. If you decide to change the Share Name make sure you use only alphanumeric characters and the name is case sensitive.
- Now click the “Permissions” button, select “Allow root access” and click “Apply”
- Finally, go to the “Sharing” tab, select “Share this folder”, and click “Apply”
- As a confirmation to make sure the NFS Server is running go into Services under the Control Panel. Locate “Server for NFS” and hopefully its status should be “Started”. You can also stop and restart the service from here.
Do for the following “WHS” share of the D:\shares drive:
Under “Sharing->Permissions” add the user “Guest” with read-only access.
Under “Permissions” add the user “Guest” with read&execute, list and read permissions.
- If you are going to connect a media player to your WHS via NFS the address used is slightly different then with smb. Using my PCH C-200 as an example, under smb my network share address would be smb://MyServer/Videos. Under NFS the network share address would be nfs://MyServer:/Videos (take note of the additional “:”).
- If you are unable to download the Password.txt and/or Group.txt files you can create easily. Open up notepad and copy/paste the below text:
- I can confirm that issues I had streaming via SMB were resolved by streaming via NFS. This seems to be device specific though, so I would try SMB first before attempting NFS.
UPDATE – I JUST POSTED MY NFS FOR WHS 2011 GUIDE