Sun's NFS protocol provides transparent remote access to shared file systems across networks. The NFS protocol is designed to be machine, operating system, network architecture, and transport protocol independent. This independence is achieved through the use of Remote Procedure Call (RPC) primitives built on top of an eXternal Data Representation (XDR). Implementations of the NFS version 2 protocol exist for a variety of machines, from personal computers to supercomputers. The initial version of the NFS protocol is specified in the Network File System Protocol Specification [RFC1094]. A description of the initial implementation can be found in [Sandberg].
The supporting MOUNT protocol performs the operating system-specific functions that allow clients to attach remote directory trees to a point within the local file system. The mount process also allows the server to grant remote access privileges to a restricted set of clients via export control.
The Lock Manager provides support for file locking when used in the NFS environment. The Network Lock Manager (NLM) protocol isolates the inherently stateful aspects of file locking into a separate protocol.
A complete description of the above protocols and their implementation is to be found in [X/OpenNFS].
The purpose of this document is to:
The normative text is the description of the RPC procedures and arguments and results, which defines the over-the-wire protocol, and the semantics of those procedures. The material describing implementation practice aids the understanding of the protocol specification and describes some possible implementation issues and solutions. It is not possible to describe all implementations and the UNIX operating system implementation of the NFS version 3 protocol is most often used to provide examples. Given that, the implementation discussion does not bear the authority of the description of the over-the-wire protocol itself.