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I think I understand the way pre-NFS4 exports work, specifically the namespace of the exported point.

(ie. export /mnt/blah on server, use mount server:/mnt/blah /my/mnt/point on client)

However, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around NFS4 exports.

What I've been able to gather so far is that you export a 'root' by marking it with fsid=0, which you then import on the client side by referring to it as '/'.

(ie. exportfs -o fsid=0 /mnt/blah on server, mount server:/ on client)

However, after that, it gets a little weird. From my playing around, it seems I can't export anything else thats not under /mnt/blah. For example, exportfs /home/user1 fails when trying to mount from the client unless /mnt/blah/home/user1 exists on the server.

If this is the case, what is the difference between exportfs /mnt/blah/subdir1 on server and mount server:/subdir1 on client and just skipping the exportfs and mounting whatever subdir of /mnt/blah you want?

Why would you need to export anything other than the root? Its all in the same namespace anyway.

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1 Answer 1

The purpose of this is to add an abstraction layer that gives you more flexibility; you can move things around on the server without having to reconfigure all the clients to reflect the new paths.

You can export stuff outside /mnt/blah by bind-mounting it inside blah, for instance

mount --bind /home /mnt/blah/home
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The question is, if /home is bound to /mnt/blah/home, it is still accessible from within the root export (/mnt/blah), so what is the point in adding another export for /mnt/blah/home? –  SystemParadox Aug 2 '12 at 11:16
    
Because the server may want to configure different modes and ACLs for various mounts ? –  b0fh Aug 2 '12 at 17:51

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