When I need to access (read/write) to a folder of many files under Linux from Mac OSX, there are two options:

  1. Install Samba in Linux and share as Windows share
  2. Share via NFS

Which one is the recommended one for performance and security point of view?

closed as not constructive by Zoredache, Scott Pack, mdpc, Michael Hampton, Ward Dec 26 '12 at 5:20

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NFS is very performant in closed network and it's simpler than SMB to setup, SMB share has more configuration about access and permissions and it can be accessed by windows OS.

If you need a simple share that can be accessed only by known machines, I'd recommend NFS especially in LAN network has very good performance. SMB is more secure but it need more configuration ( nothing impossible ) and it can be accessed by almost all operating systems, it's a must if u need to access it via WAN network.

In your case I suggest NFS but if you have in mind to expand his functionality in the future then go SMB.


You can't use soft links in Samba, you have a lot of broadcasts too. If you don't have Windows systems, use NFS !

  • Symlinks work to a certain extent if Samba options are set proberly. – Zoredache Dec 25 '12 at 16:48

NFS is the recommended way to go. Five arguments, why NFS might be better in this situation:

  • Fast installation and setup
  • Simple/easy configuration of a "share"
  • Simplet configuratio of security settings, e.g. host-based security
  • Fast and reliable without the overhead of the SMB/CIFS protocol
  • AFAIK, MAC OS supports NFS better than SMB/CIFS.

Only know that NFS can be confused when you are exporting a folder which is a bind mount. Youse fsid=xxx in /etc/exports then.


One argument against NFS is that clients (users) have more control over file permissions since they are accessing the file share directly as a user on the server system. Samba allows user mappings for clients and shares as well as the ability to force umasks for files.

So, if you care about having nice and neat permissions for shares accessed by multiple users, Samba may be a little easier to use, once it's setup. If you are the only one sharing, use whichever you find easier to setup.


NFS is a way to go:

  • easier to setup
  • better performance
  • security wise - it is better to be invisible for Windows machines. For example if you hook up an infected Windows machine to the network, if is Samba share, it will start infecting the share or in case of the latest middle east trojan- wiping out the shared drive
  • NFS has more features- like sym links, handles better network issues (it is client-server)

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