NFS Components in Windows Server 2003 R2 and Past Releases

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 R2

A number of components are either involved in or dependent on Network File System (NFS) authentication. These include:

  • User Name Mapping service. This component maps UNIX users to Windows users and vice versa. Even when a user references the same name on both systems, the programs do not recognize them as the same user. User Name Mapping service tells the components in Services for NFS that Windows user jdoe is the same as UNIX user johnd.

  • Server for NFS Authentication. This component is not a server at all, but rather an authentication component used by Server for NFS. If you use local user accounts, install Server for NFS Authentication on all Windows NFS servers. If you use domain user accounts, raise the domain functional level to Windows Server 2003 or install Server for NFS Authentication on all domain controllers.

  • Client for NFS. This is the Windows NFS client component of Services for NFS. Client for NFS allows the computer on which it is installed to access and use NFS resources anywhere on the network.

  • Server for NFS. This is the Windows NFS server component of Services for NFS. Server for NFS allows the machine on which it is installed to provide file system resources to NFS clients anywhere on the network.

Each of these components included in Windows Server 2003 R2 have equivalent components in the earlier Windows Services for UNIX releases. However, two components from Windows Services for UNIX 3.5 are not included in Windows Server 2003 R2: Server for Personal Computer Network File System (PCNFS) and Gateway for NFS.

Windows Services for UNIX 1.0 uses the PCNFS protocol for authentication to NFS servers, and some third-party legacy NFS applications have also used PCNFS. However, since Windows Services for UNIX 2.0, the authentication mechanism has not used PCNFS directly, though the Server for PCNFS was included to support those legacy clients.

The Gateway for NFS component attempted to provide a single server that connected to NFS servers and shared the resulting connection to downstream Windows clients by using the standard Windows networking protocol: server message blocks (SMB). This component, however, was a potential bottleneck in the connection and introduced substantial network overhead. With the availability of Client for NFS, the need for a gateway product has been substantially reduced.