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Re: What is the difference between Samba and NFS?



bEEnHeX wrote:

Sorry for some kind of a pitty question, but I would like to know what is the difference between Samba and NFS and what are main purposes they are used for?

NFS is a protocol native to UNIX systems, while Samba is a program that provides SMB, a protocol native to Windows systems. Linux supports both as file systems.


From the point of view of a Windows user, SMB may be the only available option. NFS isn't supported by Windows without additional software.

From the point of view of a Linux user, the question is more one of security (trust) and functionality. NFS provides normal UNIX filesystem semantics (user, group, other and read, write, execute permissions) where SMB may not. NFS relies entirely on "trust" security though. When you export a filesystem to a machine over NFS, you are trusting that machine's security to be equivalent to the server's. NFS uses standard UNIX security semantics, so a given share may have several users' files on it, and on the client each user will only be able to access files that the UNIX permissions allow them. However, if you export the filesystem to a system that is under the administrative control of a user, he can simply become any UID he wants on his own system, and access that user's files. SMB does not do the same thing. When you connect to an FS over SMB, you authenticate with a username/password, and for the entire session, you will have that user's security clearance.




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