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NFS on Windows

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There are at least five major options for NFS server support for Windows:

  1. Hummingbird (now OpenText)  -- Both client and server
  2. Microsoft Services for NFS (Windows server 2003 R2 and later) -- both client and server
  3. Free support for NFS3 is included in SFU 3.5. (SFU is discontinued, but still available for Windows XP) -- both client and server
  4. Free Cygwin NFS support -- both client and server
  5. uwin -- both client and server

As for NSF client support this is not  problem at least for Windows Enterprize and Ultimate (built-in). Unclear if it is available for Windows 7 Professional but still one can use Cygwin.

Hummingbird (now OpenText)  NFS implementation supports all the latest NFS technologies, including NFSv4, NFS over TCP and WebNFS. It is an expensive option ($200 or so; upgrade from the last three versions is ~ $130, so it make sense if you can get older version for $10 or $20.)  Among features

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[Aug 14, 2012] Windows 7 - Interoperability

As great as Windows 7 is (and I think it's pretty great), it should come as no surprise that many organizations are running or will run Windows 7 in a mixed environment. Because of this, Windows 7 is going to have to play nice with a variety of other environments, drivers, APIs and so on, from predecessors including various versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista to Linux, Unix and even the Mac OS X. With so many disparate operating systems, the issue of interoperability becomes extremely important, and you may be wondering what features Windows 7 has in order to support interoperability. So let's dig in and take a look.

Interoperability with Unix and Related Operating Systems

Like earlier releases of Windows, Client for Network File Systems (NFS) and Subsystem for Unix-based Applications (SUA) remain the primary components provided for interoperability with non-Windows operating systems. They allow both small and large enterprises to integrate their Windows systems with Unix-based systems. Client for NFS enables Windows computers to gain access to files on Unix-based computers. SUA provides a subsystem for compiling and running custom Unix-based applications and scripts on Windows computers. Also available are administration tools for managing Services for NFS on local and remote computers. As with Windows Vista, any or all of these features can be turned on or off using the Windows Features dialog box.

Once you've enabled Client for NFS and the related administrative tools, you can configure a computer to connect to Unix NFS shares that allow anonymous access. If you don't allow anonymous access, you must configure the computer to get Unix identity information from an existing User Name Mapping (UNM) server or configure one if it is not already available. At an elevated command prompt, enter nfsadmin client to determine what options Client for NFS is configured to use. Use the mount command, the NET USE command or the Map Network Drive feature to map a drive to a remote NFS share.

In Windows, security identifiers (SIDs) identify objects in the file system and elsewhere. In Unix, user identifiers (UIDs) and group identifiers (GIDs) identify objects in the file system and elsewhere. Whenever you work with Services for Unix, UNM is used for authentication. UNM authenticates incoming access requests and determines the effective UID and GID. To correlate Windows and Unix identities, UNM uses the Windows Security Accounts Manager (SAM) or Active Directory to identify Windows users and Unix password and group files or NIS domains to identify Unix users and groups.

There are two approaches to name mapping: simple and advanced. Simple Name Mapping automatically creates name maps for all users and groups who have the same name in your Windows and Unix environments. You can create simple name maps between Windows and Unix using the MapAdmin command with the AddDomainMap parameter. Before you use this command, copy the Unix password and group files to your computer, merge them and then filter out duplicates and any system accounts. You also can create simple name maps using Unix options in the GUI on the UNM server.

In contrast, you create advanced name maps by manually mapping Windows users and groups with their Unix counterparts. While it sounds complex, Unix options in the GUI on the UNM server make this process fairly easy and straightforward. First, you turn off Simple Name Mapping, and then you use the Advanced Maps options to manually map Windows users and groups to Unix users and groups.

For Windows 7, Microsoft made several enhancements to Client for NFS and SUA. Most of these enhancements are bug fixes that provide a better integration solution with fewer problems. Because Windows 7 is best used with Windows Server 2008 R2, it is important to know how R2 supports Services for NFS. In R2, Services for NFS supports net groups so you can create network-wide named groups of hosts and RPCSEC_GSS for enhanced security with Remote Procedure Calls. Generic Security Service Application Programming Interface (GSS-API) allows Services for NFS to use Kerberos version 5 for authentication and integrity checking.

NFS Authentication can be configured to use Kerberos v5 authentication (KRB5) or Kerberos v5 integrity checking and authentication (KRB5i). It is important to note that if you use NFS versions 2 or 3 and KRB5i, you will be unable to mount shares over the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). To use KRB5i integrity checking, you must configure the NFS client and server to use the TCP protocol. With KRB5, you can configure the client and server to use either TCP or UDP.

As far as Mac OS X goes, like Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 does not include Services for Macintosh. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as Mac OS X is built on Unix and includes an NFS client. You can use the NFS client to connect to NFS shares.

HOWTO Mount NFS shares under Windows 7

Sage Hacks

UNIX and Linux users have long been accustomed to networking over NFS, or Network File System. It's been around for a quarter of a century, was made popular by SunOS, and if you can stomach it's myriad security flaws, it's always been the quickest, dirtiest way to share files between disparate systems. With the upcoming Windows 7, Microsoft has (finally!) deemed it neccesary to provide proper NFS client support (and requisite MMC snap-in) to consumer Windows.

First, set up NFS exports on the server- in my case a Ubuntu desktop. An /etc/exports file may look like this:

/home (rw, async, insecure) 
/opt (rw, async, insecure) 
/usr/share * (ro, insecure) 

That's it -- three fields. The filesystem branch to export, names of allowed hosts (as IP address, netmask, or hostname, with wildcards if that makes your life easier), and whatever options you need to provide. The "insecure" option allows requests from ports above 1024. In the *nix world, only root can bind to a secure port. The 'async' option tells NFS to place a higher priority on client responses than to writing out to local disks, the result being improved performance with an increased risk of data loss. There are many more options- consult the manpages or this guide to NFS on Linux.

On the Windows side, you mount an NFS export much like any other network share, by issuing a command such as

mount [options] //nfs-server-unc-name/share-name [drive letter]

This is assuming, of course, that you've installed Client Services for NFS under Windows. NFS support is one of those optional packages that is available via the Add/Remove Software wizard in the Control Panel.

Once mounted, your Linux shares will appear as any other drive in Windows:

Perhaps best of all, by right-clicking on the share's drive icon and selecting 'Add to library…', your NFS shares can be rolled into a library (libraries were discussed in this previous post) for sharing across Windows 7 homegroups.

Repurposing old, low-end hardware (running Linux) as a personal file server just got a lot easier.

Does Windows 7 Support connecting to NFS servers.

March 22, 2010


I have Windows 7 Professional 32bit installed. I am trying to connect to a NFS file share on a Solaris System. I cant find the NFS Client on my machine. I went to add windows components and I don't see it there as an option. I was told by someone that they have 'enterprise' version and the NFS client is there. So I am thinking that I dont have the right version. I dont even see enterprise listed in the product comparisions. Is there actually an enterprise version ? If so, can professional be upgraded ? If none of this is true, then how would I go about getting the NFS client up and running ?


I think there should be no workaround on Windows 7 Professional Edition currently. To make it work, you can upgrade the current edition to Enterprise or Ultimate with Windows Anytime Upgrade:

Windows Anytime Upgrade

In addition, I would like to share the following with you for your reference:

NFS and SUA in Windows 7



Nicholas Li - MSFT

Hi Dzikiewicz,

There is an Enterprise version of Windows 7. It's very similar to Ultimate but is based on volume licensing (for businesses).

My understanding is that you do not need Enterprise (or Ultimate) for NFS shares to work correctly. Have a look at this TechNet thread and pay attention to Paul's response:

Let me know if that helps!

Nicholas Li's


Thank you for your kind reminder.

It should be this one:

Dose Windows 7 Support connecting to NFS servers

Meanwhile, I have done some research; however, I think there should be no workaround on Windows 7 Professional Edition currently. To make it work, you can upgrade the current edition to Enterprise or Ultimate with Windows Anytime Upgrade:

Windows Anytime Upgrade

In addition, I would like to share the following with you for your reference:

NFS and SUA in Windows 7


Nicholas Li - MSFT


For all of you that are too young to remember, services for VARIOUS networking systems have been part of microsoft's OS's for a VERY long time.

Cody: I really want to ask if that's the party line on the matter. Microsoft supported a Novell client, and a plethora(sp) of network SERVICES for UNIX. I remember an NFS client being there previously, if I'm not mistaken.

I don't want to run out and grab some virus laden software to patch this gap.

Maybe I just haven't gone to all the google hits yet, but man........this is Microsoft's q&a. You can't tell me it's a hard question to answer.

Lemme make the question easier....

Does Microsoft offer a native client for NFS, out of the box, with Windows 7 ?

It's a yes or no question.

[email protected]

[Aug 14, 2009] Microsoft Finances Open Source NFS v4 for Windows

Apr 23, 2009

"Microsoft has forged a deal with a University of Michigan research unit to create an open-source version of the NFS version 4 protocol that will work with Windows. Microsoft already offers NFS support in Windows client and server, but for Version 3 only."

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