The musings of an IT Consultant

Feb 14 2009   11:22PM GMT

Configuring NFS in Windows

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hello again folks! As I had mentioned previously, I want to talk a little bit about configuring NFS in Windows. Since last we spoke I had mentioned using the Allegro NFS product and that I was considering purchasing it after my trial was over.

NFS is a great solution to use along with the ghettoVCB scripts I mentioned in my previous posts. This way you can backup your virtual machines to USB storage connected to a workstation or server.

Well my trial is over and I have now purchased it for use in my home lab. I have to say it works flawlessly. I experimented with some free NFS software that is out there but nothing seemed to work perfectly. I found that a lot of products would just stop working after a period of time and then you’d have to restart the service or program in question.

Allegro NFS is pretty easy to configure. You start the program, you specify the windows path name you want to share out via NFS, then you specify the hosts and rights you want to give to the share. Then you just go to your client computer and mount the NFS share as you normally would. Pretty straightforward, it doesn’t get any easier than this. This is a great solution for users using workstation operating systems such as Windows Vista to share out external USB drives as NAS storage.

However if you want to use a workable free solution in your server environment then I would suggest using the Windows Services for Unix download with your Windows 2003 install. To get this working please do the following:

  • Download the files /etc/passwd and /etc/group from your ESX or ESXi server using WinSCP
  • Create a folder on your C drive called c:\nfs and place the passwd and group files in there
  • Download Windows Services for Unix 3.5 from here and install it
  • Make sure you install the Server for NFS and User Mapping components during the install
  • During the user mapping configuration portion of the install, choose Local User Name Mapping Server and choose Password and Group files
  • In the User Name mapping screen type in the path name for the passwd and group files (c:\nfs\passwd and c:\nfs\group)
  • After it’s installed, click on Start and Run then type MMC
  • Add the Windows Services for Unix Snap-in to the MMC console
  • Select User Name Mapping on the left hand pane and then select the MAPS section in the right hand pane
  • Ensure Simple Maps is checked and then click on Show User Maps
  • Then click on list Windows Users and list UNIX users
  • Select Administrator from the Windows user list and select root from the UNIX users list and then click Add
  • Check the Display simple maps in Mapped users list checkbox
  • Click on Apply in the top right hand corner of the MMC console
  • Close the MMC console
  • Create a folder and right click on it and choose Sharing and Security
  • Click on the NFS Sharing tab
  • Click share this folder and give it a share name, in this example we’ll call it NFSBackup
  • Click on permissions
  • Check the Allow root access box
  • Change the Type of Access drop down menu to Read-Write and then click OK and then click OK again

Now you can mount the share from VMware. When you go to add NFS storage just point it at the IP of the server and the path. So if the server’s IP address is for example, then the serer name would be and the NFS path would be /NFSBackup.

That’s it!

-Cheers, RP

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  • Alexfoo
    Hello, Thanks for real for this useful post! Anyway I still getting an issue when I try to map the NFS store from ESXi... I followed each point of your documentation and it worked well... It fail to mount the store and I've got this on the Windows NFS server log: [CODE] Microsoft Server For NFS Activity Log ------------------------------------------------------------------------- DATE TIME TASK RESULT ADDRESS DESCRIPTION... ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 04-02-2009 12:04:18 MOUNT SUCCESS F:Bobafett_DataStore 04-02-2009 12:04:18 UMOUNT SUCCESS F:Bobafett_DataStore 04-02-2009 12:09:21 MOUNT SUCCESS F:Bobafett_DataStore 04-02-2009 12:09:21 UMOUNT SUCCESS F:Bobafett_DataStore[/CODE] It seems that it mount and directly unmount... Do you have any where it could come from? Thanks in advance.
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