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What is WebNFS browsing in Solaris ?

Posted on 2009-05-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I got to know if I share a resource with '-public' while using the 'share' command then the available resource would be available for WebNFS browsing. Could someone explain me what is WebNFS browsing in Solaris?
Question by:beer9
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

Brian Utterback earned 1000 total points
ID: 24287264
In NFS version 3, before you can access any filesystem on the server, you must get a "handle" for the file system. The mount protocol does this using the mountd daemon. You give it a path for the file system you want to mount, and mountd gives you the handle. You then use this handle in the subsequent NFS calls. This handle is essentially the file handle of the root directory of the file system.

The problem with this is that now, if you want to allow access to NFS across a filewall, you have to allow through both the NFS and the mountd protocols. What is worse, while NFS can use either TCP or UDP, mountd only uses UDP, which most admins are not willing to allow through their filrewall.

So, to get around this, WebNFS was invented. With WebNFS, one filesystem on each server is designated the "public" file system, and its file system handle is set to a well known value that is always the same on
every server. So, for just that one file system, you can get around using the mount protocol and start right
in with NFS over TCP.

The reason it was called WebNFS, is that it was orignally envisioned as a add on to web browsers, with the
browsers knowing the handle and understanding NFS. Sun released a developement kit, but it never really
caught on, and after about 10 years, Sun stopped shipping the WebNFS dev kit bundled with Solaris. I think the kit is still available separately though.

Hope that helps.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31577205
Thank you blu :-)

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