Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Apple > Operating Systems

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Using NFS Share Point Access

Network File System (NFS) is one of the oldest shared file systems. Because of its deep roots among UNIX platforms, it is still used in a number of situations today. It is considerably different from either the AFP or SMB service. The most outstanding difference is that NFS does not support user logins. When you try to connect to Windows or Apple services without a valid Kerberos ticket, the first thing you do is identify yourself with a user name and password. In the absence of a Kerberos ticket, NFS does not give access to users; it gives access to computers. More accurately, it gives access to particular IP addresses. If your computer has one of these IP addresses, the NFS service lets you connect. Without a Kerberos ticket, it won’t prompt you for a user name or password.

Starting with Mac OS X Server v10.3, NFS file and file-range locks (standard POSIX advisory locks) are enabled by default. This means that two users can safely edit the same file concurrently, as long as they are not editing the same section of the file. If two users attempt to modify the same section of a file, one is locked out in read-only mode until the other is done saving changes.

Mac OS X Server v10.5 and v10.6 use NFSv4, which adds the ability to use Kerberos v5 for identification and authentication for NFS.

NFS Trusts the Client for User Authentication

If NFS doesn’t prompt you for a user name and password, how can it deal with permissions? If you sit down at a client computer and start using an NFS volume, how does it know if you’re a member of the group that has access? Who does it assign as the owner of a file you create?

The server simply believes what the client tells it, based upon the user ID provided by the client. The client tells the server that user Jim is creating a folder or deleting a file, and the server believes it. If Jim has access to that file or folder, the operation is allowed. In Mac OS X, the user that the client reports to the server is normally the user who logged in at the login window. Two issues arise with this method of user identification:

  • User mismatch: Maybe the user really is Jim, and your client is correctly reporting his identity to the server. What if the server doesn’t know who Jim is? Or what if there are different Jims—one on the server and one on the client? Remember that each Mac OS X client has a list of users (configured in Accounts preferences), and Mac OS X Server has its own list of users (configured in Workgroup Manager). The two lists may not have any common users, or they may have users who appear to be the same but only coincidentally have the same information. NFS can’t keep this straight on its own.
  • Identity theft: Imagine you are a standard user on the server, but you are the administrator of your own MacBook running Mac OS X. Because you control that MacBook, you can create any user you want locally and thus pretend to be anyone you want to be. You can now see why NFS is a security concern.

NFS Options to Increase Security

One response to the problem of identity theft is to map NFS users. Rather than accept what the client reports, the server can simply pretend that the user is “nobody,” and hence the user gets the permissions that are assigned to everyone. You’ll almost certainly want to select this mapping for the root user—the all-powerful superuser who can delete any item on a volume. It is just as easy to steal the root user’s identity as it is any other user’s. Beyond this, you can map all users to nobody and just ignore altogether what the client is reporting for a user. Checking both these options is similar to giving guest access under AFP.

The Minimum Security pop-up menu offers a number of options to increase the level of security for sharing files over NFS:

  • Standard—Use only IP address to grant access to the NFS service
  • Any—Accept any method of authentication
  • Kerberos v5—Accept only Kerberos authentication
  • Kerberos v5 with data integrity—In addition to accepting only Kerberos authentication, checksum the data transfer
  • Kerberos v5 with data integrity and privacy—In addition to accepting only Kerberos authentication, checksum and encrypt the data transfer

If you need to provide NFS services only to computers with Mac OS X v10.5 or Mac OS X v10.6, it is recommended that you choose an option that includes Kerberos for the Minimum Security setting for NFS service.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020