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Difference between NFS and Samba Server

Posted on 2003-03-20
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I want to know the difference between NFS and Samba Server. I think we can do the same thing as NFS do using Samba Server and what is difference between their security.
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Question by:redhat_786
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Expert Comment

by:ripvannwinkler
ID: 8192720
NFS is a network file system for *nix boxes to share files between each other.  Samba is entirely designed to provide windows computers access to unix file systems.  They are completley separate resources, but can easily be implemented in such a way that Windows computers can access NFS exports.  I've seen this done particularly for mainframe Unix exports.

NFS exports are secured by accounts on the *nix box that is exporting the files.  Samba can provide security by *nix account, or can validate user permissions via a windows domain.  

If you are sharing from *nix to *nix, use NFS.  If you are trying to share to a windows network, use samba.  When using samba, it is usually more convenient to validate permissions through the domain.
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by:redhat_786
ID: 8193414
Thanks for this information but I want to know why they were made separately because we can share the resources using Samba alone. Like we can mount remote shares using smbmount and access the files within it. We can access the samba service from the *nix machines using smbclient also. What's special in NFS and what are the security differences?
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by:ripvannwinkler
ID: 8193503
NFS was around before the days of linux, and definitely before the days of samba.  NFS is the native *nix network file system.  Samba's core purpose was to bridge the differences between windows network file systems, and *nix network file systems.  Yes you can use samba to share and mount files on linux, but NFS is noticably quicker on larger files, and more stable.  I'm not sure there's any added security, as both samba and nfs use *nix accounts to authenticate to other *nix machines.  Samba is not intended to share files between *nix boxes, and it would be overkill to do so.  If you are sharing only between *nix boxes, use nfs.
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by:redhat_786
ID: 8193703
Thanks again but tell me would there be any other matter which would discourage me about using Samba instead of NFS for sharing files and resources. Thanks in advance for your cool help. And can you tell me any site which would help me to differentiate these.
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Accepted Solution

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martijnt earned 60 total points
ID: 8202653
What had to be told about the differences between Samba and NFS has been told.

If you are going to share directories between *nix boxes use NFS unless you want to make your life real hard. Using Samba for directory-sharing on *nix boxes means you will have to install (or even compile) it on every machine as it is often not there by default. Almost all *nix systems support NFS out of the box.

Also, by using NFS combined with NIS your users will be able to access everything they have rights on with a single logon. If you use Samba you will have to create extra accounts or link to an NT domain controller.
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by:redhat_786
ID: 8208123
Satisfactory Answer
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by:ripvannwinkler
ID: 8208210
2 Points?  That's not a very good way to get people to help you in the future...
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Author Comment

by:redhat_786
ID: 8208329
Sorry but I gave 20 points for this. Believe me. I don't actually know how to give the 20 points to the correct answer. Is there anyway to increase this?
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Expert Comment

by:ripvannwinkler
ID: 8208432
Read the faq on how to post another question for awarding points.  I'm not sure on the specific requirements, but I know it can be done.  Aside from that, don't worry about the points, just glad we could help.
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