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nfsv4 — NFS Version 4 Protocol
experimental client and server with NFSv4 support
The experimental nfs client and server provides support for the NFSv4
specification; see Network File System (NFS) Version 4 Protocol RFC 3530.
The protocol is somewhat similar to NFS Version 3, but differs in
significant ways. It uses a single Compound RPC that concatenates
operations to-gether. Each of these operations are similar to the RPCs
of NFS Version 3. The operations in the compound are performed in order,
until one of them fails (returns an error) and then the RPC terminates at
It has integrated locking support, which implies that the server is no
longer stateless. As such, the NFSv4 server remains in recovery mode for
a Grace period (always greater than the lease duration the server uses)
after a reboot. During this Grace period, clients may recover state but
not perform other open/lock state changing operations. To provide for
correct recovery semantics, a small file described by stablerestart(5) is
used by the server during the recovery phase. If this file is missing,
the server will not start. If this file is lost, it should be recovered
from backups, since creating an empty stablerestart(5) file will result
in the server starting without providing a Grace Period for recovery.
Note that recovery only occurs when the server machine is rebooted, not
when the nfsd(8) are just restarted.
It provides several optional features not in NFS Version 3:
- NFS Version 4 ACLs
- Referrals, which redirect subtrees to other servers
(not yet implemented)
- Delegations, which allow a client to operate on a file locally
The NFSv4 protocol does not use a separate mount protocol and assumes
that the server provides a single file system tree structure, rooted at
the point in the local file system tree specified by one or more
V4: <rootdir> [-sec=secflavors] [host(s) or net]
line(s) in the exports(5) file. (See exports(5) for details.) The
nfsd(8) allows a limited subset of operations to be performed on non-
exported subtrees of the local file system, so that traversal of the tree
to the exported subtrees is possible. As such, the ``<rootdir>'' can be
in a non-exported file system. However, the entire tree that is rooted
at that point must be in local file systems that are of types that can be
NFS exported. Since the nfsv4 file system is rooted at ``<rootdir>'',
setting this to anything other than ``/'' will result in clients being
required to use different mount paths for nfsv4 than for NFS Version 2 or
3. Unlike NFS Version 2 and 3, Version 4 allows a client mount to span
across multiple server file systems, although not all clients are capable
of doing this.
nfsv4 uses names for users and groups instead of numbers. On the wire,
they take the form:
where ``<dns.domain>'' is not the same as the DNS domain used for host
name lookups, but is usually set to the same string. Most systems set
this ``<dns.domain>'' to the domain name part of the machine's
hostname(1) by default. However, this can normally be overridden by a
command line option or configuration file for the daemon used to do the
name<->number mapping. On FreeBSD, the mapping daemon is called
nfsuserd(8) and has a command line option that overrides the domain
component of the machine's hostname. For use of nfsv4, either client or
server, this daemon must be running. If this ``<dns.domain>'' is not set
correctly or the daemon is not running, ``ls -l'' will typically report a
lot of ``nobody'' and ``nogroup'' ownerships.
Although uid/gid numbers are no longer used in the nfsv4 protocol, they
will still be in the RPC authentication fields when running using
AUTH_SYS (sec=sys), which is the default. As such, in this case both the
user/group name and number spaces must be consistent between the client
However, if you run nfsv4 with RPCSEC_GSS (sec=krb5, krb5i, krb5p), only
names and KerberosV tickets will go on the wire.
To set up the experimental nfs server that supports nfsv4 you will need
to either build a kernel with:
or start mountd(8) and nfsd(8) with the ``-e'' option to force use of the
experimental server. The nfsuserd(8) daemon must also be running. This
will occur if
are set in rc.conf(5).
You will also need to add at least one ``V4:'' line to the exports(5)
file and, before starting the server for the first time, create an empty
file. The command
install -o root -g wheel -m 600 /dev/null /var/db/nfs-stablerestart
executed as ``su'' should suffice. This can only be done when the server
is not running and there are no nfsv4 file system mounts against the
server. If this file is lost during a crash, recovery from backups is
If the file systems you are exporting are only being accessed via nfsv4
there are a couple of sysctl(8) variables that you can change, which
might improve performance.
when set non-zero, allows the server to issue Open Delegations to
clients. These delegations permit the client to manipulate the
file locally on the client. Unfortunately, at this time, client
use of delegations is limited, so performance gains may not be
observed. This can only be enabled when the file systems being
exported to nfsv4 clients are not being accessed locally on the
server and, if being accessed via NFS Version 2 or 3 clients,
these clients cannot be using the NLM.
can be set to 0 to disable acquisition of local byte range locks.
Disabling local locking can only be done if neither local
accesses to the exported file systems nor the NLM is operating on
Note that Samba server access would be considered ``local access'' for
the above discussion.
To build a kernel with the experimental nfsv4 linked into it, the
must be specified in the kernel's config(5) file.
To do an nfsv4 mount, specify the ``nfsv4'' option on the mount_nfs(8)
command line. This will force use of the experimental client plus set
``tcp'' and nfsv4.
The nfsuserd(8) must be running, as above. If the nfsv4 server that is
being mounted on supports delegations, you can start the nfscbd(8) daemon
to handle client side callbacks. This will occur if
are set in rc.conf(5).
Without a functioning callback path, a server will never issue
Delegations to a client.
By default, the callback address will be set to the IP address acquired
via rtalloc() in the kernel and port# 7745. To override the default
port#, a command line option for nfscbd(8) can be used.
To get callbacks to work when behind a NAT gateway, a port for the
callback service will need to be set up on the NAT gateway and then the
address of the NAT gateway (host IP plus port#) will need to be set by
assigning the sysctl(8) variable vfs.newnfs.callback_addr to a string of
where the first 4 Ns are the host IP address and the last two are the
port# in network byte order (all decimal #s in the range 0-255).
To build a kernel with the experimental nfsv4 client linked into it, the
must be specified in the kernel's config(5) file.
Options can be specified for the nfsuserd(8) and nfscbd(8) daemons at
boot time via the ``nfsuserd_flags'' and ``nfscbd_flags'' rc.conf(5)
/var/db/nfs-stablerestart NFS V4 stable restart file
stablerestart(5) mountd(8) nfscbd(8) nfsd(8) nfsdumpstate(8) nfsrevoke(8)
At this time, there is no recall of delegations for local file system
operations. As such, delegations should only be enabled for file systems
that are being used soley as NFS export volumes and are not being
accessed via local system calls nor services such as Samba.