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Security and NFS

Something Interesting that will scare you


For SME8

1. Install the smeserver-nfs contrib like this:

yum install smeserver-nfs --enablerepo=smecontribs

2. Then execute the following:

  • sme8
config setprop nfs status enabled
config setprop portmap status enabled
config setprop nfslock status enabled

3. Edit /etc/exports to add the directories to be shared (this line exports user home directories and ibays):

/home/e-smith/files    *.mydomain(rw,sync,no_wdelay,nohide,no_root_squash)
/home/e-smith/files  – shared directory           – IP address range of clients
*.mydomain               – Domain's client allowed

rw                       – Writable permission to shared folder
sync                     – Synchronize shared directory
no_root_squash           – Enable root privilege
no_all_squash            – Enable user’s authority

if you want to see all your exports

showmount -e

Important.png Note:
Make sure to leave a blank line at the end of the file.

securing NFS Securing2

4. Then, the following, which will reboot the server:

signal-event post-upgrade; signal-event reboot

Couple of notes whilst installing on SME8.....

DB options as follows - status disabled by default :


After installation & reboot you should be able to update with

signal-event remoteaccess-update

However, I don't think this starts/restarts portmap, hence the reboot on install which should not really be necessary.

For SME9

yum install --enablerepo=smecontribs smeserver-nfs

You need to activate the service

signal-event nfs-update
config set UnsavedChanges no

or if you prefer to restart your server

signal-event post-upgrade; signal-event reboot
Important.png Note:
For security Reasons you can not enable Your NFS Share in 'Read and Write, No Root Squash and Insecure' options for the whole local network, you have to specify each IP allowed for these insecure settings.


  • Each IP needs to be allowed if you want write permissions. For read only permissions, you can open the share to all defined local network in the server-manager
  • The NFS share works with Ibays whose the system of permissions are Group based and inherited from the ibay panel. Therefore for changing write/read and group permissions you can do it in the NFS Ibay panel. You have at the top of the NFS panel boxes on the state of permissions and the group ownership.
  • NFS works with UID and GID, the user id and group id of the client system are sent in each RPC call, and the permissions these IDs have on the file being accessed are checked on the server. For this to work, the UID and GIDs must be the same on the server and the clients.

Read permissions

- you can easily allow the share in read permission for the local network and for all defined IP (go to the NFS ibay panel and set the User access to write=group, read=everyone, enabled the share, and allow IP(s) or the local network in the nfs panel)

Write and read permission for group

- you have to set a group which owns the ibay (in the NFS ibay panel) and change the permissions to Write=group, Read=Group

- All users both in the server and in the clients need to be members of that group with the same GID.

- you have to share the same UID for users between the server and the client

for example the user Helene must share the same UID and GID between the SME Server and the remote client

on remote client
# id helene
uid=5006(helene) gid=5006(helene) groupes=5006(helene),5002(famille)
on SME Server
# id helene
uid=5006(helene) gid=5006(helene) groupes=5006(helene),500(shared),5002(famille)

Warning.png Warning:
IF the option no_root_squash is set, the root and all sudoers of every allowed servers to the nfs share are able to write without controls in the ibay.


  • see informations of a user
  • change the uid of a user
usermod -u UID USER_NAME
  • create a group
groupadd -g GID -o GROUPE_NAME
  • modify the GID of a group
groupmod -o -g GID GROUPE_NAME
  • add a principal group to a user
  • add a secondary group to a user

Manual Settings for specific needs

Nfs offers a lot of parameters and you may need some specific settings that it would be difficult or dangerous to let them in all hands. So for some cases you can enable by db command your nfs shares

but you cannot :

  • use the wildcard '*'
  • open your shares to ip(s) outside of your local network(s)
  • use a domain to define your shares, the ip or the network are a mandatory
  • use the root '/'
  • let a space between the ip and its share definition

IF you want to do all these dangerous things, then you need to do them by custom templates.

How enable specific rules (the name of the rule is free):

config setprop nfs-rules MYRULE "/home/e-smith/files/ibays/IBAYNAME/files,sync,wdelay,rw,no_root_squash,secure)"


 config setprop nfs-rules RULE2 "/home/e-smith/files/ibays/IBAYNAME/files,sync,wdelay,rw,no_root_squash,secure)"

There is no analysis of the share settings, ditto for the path of the folder you want to share (except for the '/')

once modified

signal-event nfs-conf

or if you want to see if you haven't done a misconfiguration

expand-template /etc/exports
service nfs restart

don't forget that you can see the mounted shares and the configuration file

showmount -e


less /etc/exports

Common Mount permission options

rw              read/write permissions
ro              read-only permissions
insecure        Allows the use of ports over 1024
sync            Specifies that all changes must be written to disk before a command completes
no_wdelay       Forces the writing of changes immediately
root_squash     Prevents root users
no_root_squash  Allow root users

Couple of notes whilst installing on SME9.....

DB options as follows - status enabled by default :


you should be able to update with

signal-event nfs-update

Exported folders overview

You can have an overview of all exported folders and see for which ip/network they are allowed.

# showmount -e
Export list for hpcompact:
  • On a remote client you can show all share exported by the NFS server
 showmount -e  IpOrHostNameServer

Show connected clients

netstat -an | grep nfs.server.ip:port
  • for example if you nfs server IP is
# netstat -an | grep
tcp        0      0           ESTABLISHED

Linux Client


yum install nfs-utils

mount the network share

mkdir /mnt/partage
mount -t nfs /mnt/partage
ll /mnt/partage

mount the network share in the fstab

If you want to get mounted the NFS remote share at boot, you can add it in your fstab


192.168.XX.205:/mirror/mirror/smeserver-repo  /home/build/smeserver/ nfs rw  0 0

Using fstab is useful for a server which is always on, and the NFS shares are available whenever the client boots up. Edit /etc/fstab file, and add an appropriate line reflecting the setup. Again, the server's NFS export root is omitted.

servername:/music   /mountpoint/on/client   nfs4   rsize=8192,wsize=8192,timeo=14,_netdev	0 0

Note: Consult the NFS and mount man pages for more mount options. Some additional mount options to consider are include:

  • rsize and wsize

The rsize value is the number of bytes used when reading from the server. The wsize value is the number of bytes used when writing to the server. The default for both is 1024, but using higher values such as 8192 can improve throughput. This is not universal. It is recommended to test after making this change, see #Performance tuning.

  • timeo

The timeo value is the amount of time, in tenths of a second, to wait before resending a transmission after an RPC timeout. After the first timeout, the timeout value is doubled for each retry for a maximum of 60 seconds or until a major timeout occurs. If connecting to a slow server or over a busy network, better performance can be achieved by increasing this timeout value.

  • _netdev

The _netdev option tells the system to wait until the network is up before trying to mount the share. systemd assumes this for NFS, but anyway it is good practice to use it for all types of networked file systems Note: Setting the sixth field (fs_passno) to a nonzero value may lead to unexpected behaviour, e.g. hangs when the systemd automount waits for a check which will never happen.

NFS Timeout

Nfs can have a really long timeout in case if the remote host is not reachable, if you want to avoid it you can do

mount -t nfs -o nolock,timeo=30,retrans=1,retry=0 /mnt/partage
  • timeo : The -o timeo option allows designation of the length of time, in tenths of seconds, that the client will wait until it decides it will not get a reply from the server, and must try to send the request again. The default value is 7 tenths of a second
  • retrans : The -o retrans option allows designation of the number of timeouts allowed before the client gives up, and displays the Server not responding message. The default value is 3 attempts.
  • retry : The number of minutes that the mount command retries an NFS mount operation in the foreground or background before giving up. If a value of zero is specified, the mount command exits immediately after the first failure. If this option is not specified, the default value for foreground mounts is 2 minutes, and the default value for background mounts is 10000 minutes (80 minutes shy of one week).


Additional documentation: