exports(5) — Linux manual page


exports(5)                 File Formats Manual                exports(5)

NAME         top

       exports - NFS server export table

DESCRIPTION         top

       The file /etc/exports contains a table of local physical file
       systems on an NFS server that are accessible to NFS clients.  The
       contents of the file are maintained by the server's system

       Each file system in this table has a list of options and an
       access control list.  The table is used by exportfs(8) to give
       information to mountd(8).

       The file format is similar to the SunOS exports file. Each line
       contains an export point and a whitespace-separated list of
       clients allowed to mount the file system at that point. Each
       listed client may be immediately followed by a parenthesized,
       comma-separated list of export options for that client. No
       whitespace is permitted between a client and its option list.

       Also, each line may have one or more specifications for default
       options after the path name, in the form of a dash ("-") followed
       by an option list. The option list is used for all subsequent
       exports on that line only.

       Blank lines are ignored.  A pound sign ("#") introduces a comment
       to the end of the line. Entries may be continued across newlines
       using a backslash. If an export name contains spaces it should be
       quoted using double quotes. You can also specify spaces or other
       unusual character in the export name using a backslash followed
       by the character code as three octal digits.

       To apply changes to this file, run exportfs -ra or restart the
       NFS server.

   Machine Name Formats
       NFS clients may be specified in a number of ways:

       single host
              You may specify a host either by an abbreviated name
              recognized be the resolver, the fully qualified domain
              name, an IPv4 address, or an IPv6 address. IPv6 addresses
              must not be inside square brackets in /etc/exports lest
              they be confused with character-class wildcard matches.

       IP networks
              You can also export directories to all hosts on an IP
              (sub-) network simultaneously. This is done by specifying
              an IP address and netmask pair as address/netmask where
              the netmask can be specified in dotted-decimal format, or
              as a contiguous mask length.  For example, either
              `/' or `/22' appended to the network base
              IPv4 address results in identical subnetworks with 10 bits
              of host. IPv6 addresses must use a contiguous mask length
              and must not be inside square brackets to avoid confusion
              with character-class wildcards. Wildcard characters
              generally do not work on IP addresses, though they may
              work by accident when reverse DNS lookups fail.

              Machine names may contain the wildcard characters * and ?,
              or may contain character class lists within [square
              brackets].  This can be used to make the exports file more
              compact; for instance, *.cs.foo.edu matches all hosts in
              the domain cs.foo.edu.  As these characters also match the
              dots in a domain name, the given pattern will also match
              all hosts within any subdomain of cs.foo.edu.

              NIS netgroups may be given as @group.  Only the host part
              of each netgroup members is consider in checking for
              membership.  Empty host parts or those containing a single
              dash (-) are ignored.

              This is specified by a single * character (not to be
              confused with the wildcard entry above) and will match all

       If a client matches more than one of the specifications above,
       then the first match from the above list order takes precedence -
       regardless of the order they appear on the export line. However,
       if a client matches more than one of the same type of
       specification (e.g. two netgroups), then the first match from the
       order they appear on the export line takes precedence.

   RPCSEC_GSS security
       You may use the special strings "gss/krb5", "gss/krb5i", or
       "gss/krb5p" to restrict access to clients using rpcsec_gss
       security.  However, this syntax is deprecated; on linux kernels
       since 2.6.23, you should instead use the "sec=" export option:

       sec=   The sec= option, followed by a colon-delimited list of
              security flavors, restricts the export to clients using
              those flavors.  Available security flavors include sys
              (the default--no cryptographic security), krb5
              (authentication only), krb5i (integrity protection), and
              krb5p (privacy protection).  For the purposes of security
              flavor negotiation, order counts: preferred flavors should
              be listed first.  The order of the sec= option with
              respect to the other options does not matter, unless you
              want some options to be enforced differently depending on
              flavor.  In that case you may include multiple sec=
              options, and following options will be enforced only for
              access using flavors listed in the immediately preceding
              sec= option.  The only options that are permitted to vary
              in this way are ro, rw, no_root_squash, root_squash, and

   Transport layer security
       The Linux NFS server allows the use of RPC-with-TLS (RFC 9289) to
       protect RPC traffic between itself and its clients.  Alternately,
       administrators can secure NFS traffic using a VPN, or an ssh
       tunnel or similar mechanism, in a way that is transparent to the

       To enable the use of RPC-with-TLS, the server's administrator
       must install and configure tlshd to handle transport layer
       security handshake requests from the local kernel.  Clients can
       then choose to use RPC-with-TLS or they may continue operating
       without it.

       Administrators may require the use of RPC-with-TLS to protect
       access to individual exports.  This is particularly useful when
       using non-cryptographic security flavors such as sec=sys.  The
       xprtsec= option, followed by an unordered colon-delimited list of
       security policies, can restrict access to the export to only
       clients that have negotiated transport-layer security.  Currently
       supported transport layer security policies include:

       none   The server permits clients to access the export without
              the use of transport layer security.

       tls    The server permits clients that have negotiated an RPC-
              with-TLS session without peer authentication
              (confidentiality only) to access the export.  Clients are
              not required to offer an x.509 certificate when
              establishing a transport layer security session.

       mtls   The server permits clients that have negotiated an RPC-
              with-TLS session with peer authentication to access the
              export.  The server requires clients to offer an x.509
              certificate when establishing a transport layer security

       If RPC-with-TLS is configured and enabled and the xprtsec= option
       is not specified, the default setting for an export is
       xprtsec=none:tls:mtls.  With this setting, the server permits
       clients to use any transport layer security mechanism or none at
       all to access the export.

   General Options
       exportfs understands the following export options:

       secure This option requires that requests not using gss originate
              on an Internet port less than IPPORT_RESERVED (1024). This
              option is on by default.  To turn it off, specify
              insecure.  (NOTE: older kernels (before upstream kernel
              version 4.17) enforced this requirement on gss requests as

       rw     Allow both read and write requests on this NFS volume. The
              default is to disallow any request which changes the
              filesystem.  This can also be made explicit by using the
              ro option.

       async  This option allows the NFS server to violate the NFS
              protocol and reply to requests before any changes made by
              that request have been committed to stable storage (e.g.
              disc drive).

              Using this option usually improves performance, but at the
              cost that an unclean server restart (i.e. a crash) can
              cause data to be lost or corrupted.

       sync   Reply to requests only after the changes have been
              committed to stable storage (see async above).

              In releases of nfs-utils up to and including 1.0.0, the
              async option was the default.  In all releases after
              1.0.0, sync is the default, and async must be explicitly
              requested if needed.

              This option has no effect if async is also set.  The NFS
              server will normally delay committing a write request to
              disc slightly if it suspects that another related write
              request may be in progress or may arrive soon.  This
              allows multiple write requests to be committed to disc
              with the one operation which can improve performance.  If
              an NFS server received mainly small unrelated requests,
              this behaviour could actually reduce performance, so
              no_wdelay is available to turn it off.  The default can be
              explicitly requested with the wdelay option.

       nohide This option is based on the option of the same name
              provided in IRIX NFS.  Normally, if a server exports two
              filesystems one of which is mounted on the other, then the
              client will have to mount both filesystems explicitly to
              get access to them.  If it just mounts the parent, it will
              see an empty directory at the place where the other
              filesystem is mounted.  That filesystem is "hidden".

              Setting the nohide option on a filesystem causes it not to
              be hidden, and an appropriately authorised client will be
              able to move from the parent to that filesystem without
              noticing the change.

              However, some NFS clients do not cope well with this
              situation as, for instance, it is then possible for two
              files in the one apparent filesystem to have the same
              inode number.

              The nohide option is currently only effective on single
              host exports.  It does not work reliably with netgroup,
              subnet, or wildcard exports.

              This option can be very useful in some situations, but it
              should be used with due care, and only after confirming
              that the client system copes with the situation

              The option can be explicitly disabled for NFSv2 and NFSv3
              with hide.

              This option is not relevant when NFSv4 is use.  NFSv4
              never hides subordinate filesystems.  Any filesystem that
              is exported will be visible where expected when using

              This option is similar to nohide but it makes it possible
              for clients to access all filesystems mounted on a
              filesystem marked with crossmnt.  Thus when a child
              filesystem "B" is mounted on a parent "A", setting
              crossmnt on "A" has a similar effect to setting "nohide"
              on B.

              With nohide the child filesystem needs to be explicitly
              exported.  With crossmnt it need not.  If a child of a
              crossmnt file is not explicitly exported, then it will be
              implicitly exported with the same export options as the
              parent, except for fsid=.  This makes it impossible to not
              export a child of a crossmnt filesystem.  If some but not
              all subordinate filesystems of a parent are to be
              exported, then they must be explicitly exported and the
              parent should not have crossmnt set.

              The nocrossmnt option can explictly disable crossmnt if it
              was previously set.  This is rarely useful.

              This option disables subtree checking, which has mild
              security implications, but can improve reliability in some

              If a subdirectory of a filesystem is exported, but the
              whole filesystem isn't then whenever a NFS request
              arrives, the server must check not only that the accessed
              file is in the appropriate filesystem (which is easy) but
              also that it is in the exported tree (which is harder).
              This check is called the subtree_check.

              In order to perform this check, the server must include
              some information about the location of the file in the
              "filehandle" that is given to the client.  This can cause
              problems with accessing files that are renamed while a
              client has them open (though in many simple cases it will
              still work).

              subtree checking is also used to make sure that files
              inside directories to which only root has access can only
              be accessed if the filesystem is exported with
              no_root_squash (see below), even if the file itself allows
              more general access.

              As a general guide, a home directory filesystem, which is
              normally exported at the root and may see lots of file
              renames, should be exported with subtree checking
              disabled.  A filesystem which is mostly readonly, and at
              least doesn't see many file renames (e.g. /usr or /var)
              and for which subdirectories may be exported, should
              probably be exported with subtree checks enabled.

              The default of having subtree checks enabled, can be
              explicitly requested with subtree_check.

              From release 1.1.0 of nfs-utils onwards, the default will
              be no_subtree_check as subtree_checking tends to cause
              more problems than it is worth.  If you genuinely require
              subtree checking, you should explicitly put that option in
              the exports file.  If you put neither option, exportfs
              will warn you that the change is pending.


              This option (the two names are synonymous) tells the NFS
              server not to require authentication of locking requests
              (i.e. requests which use the NLM protocol).  Normally the
              NFS server will require a lock request to hold a
              credential for a user who has read access to the file.
              With this flag no access checks will be performed.

              Early NFS client implementations did not send credentials
              with lock requests, and many current NFS clients still
              exist which are based on the old implementations.  Use
              this flag if you find that you can only lock files which
              are world readable.

              The default behaviour of requiring authentication for NLM
              requests can be explicitly requested with either of the
              synonymous auth_nlm, or secure_locks.


       mp     This option makes it possible to only export a directory
              if it has successfully been mounted.  If no path is given
              (e.g.  mountpoint or mp) then the export point must also
              be a mount point.  If it isn't then the export point is
              not exported.  This allows you to be sure that the
              directory underneath a mountpoint will never be exported
              by accident if, for example, the filesystem failed to
              mount due to a disc error.

              If a path is given (e.g.  mountpoint=/path or mp=/path)
              then the nominated path must be a mountpoint for the
              exportpoint to be exported.

              NFS needs to be able to identify each filesystem that it
              exports.  Normally it will use a UUID for the filesystem
              (if the filesystem has such a thing) or the device number
              of the device holding the filesystem (if the filesystem is
              stored on the device).

              As not all filesystems are stored on devices, and not all
              filesystems have UUIDs, it is sometimes necessary to
              explicitly tell NFS how to identify a filesystem.  This is
              done with the fsid= option.

              For NFSv4, there is a distinguished filesystem which is
              the root of all exported filesystem.  This is specified
              with fsid=root or fsid=0 both of which mean exactly the
              same thing.

              Other filesystems can be identified with a small integer,
              or a UUID which should contain 32 hex digits and arbitrary

              Linux kernels version 2.6.20 and earlier do not understand
              the UUID setting so a small integer must be used if an
              fsid option needs to be set for such kernels.  Setting
              both a small number and a UUID is supported so the same
              configuration can be made to work on old and new kernels

              This option will disable READDIRPLUS request handling.
              When set, READDIRPLUS requests from NFS clients return
              NFS3ERR_NOTSUPP, and clients fall back on READDIR.  This
              option affects only NFSv3 clients.

              A client referencing the export point will be directed to
              choose from the given list an alternative location for the
              filesystem.  (Note that the server must have a mountpoint
              here, though a different filesystem is not required; so,
              for example, mount --bind /path /path is sufficient.)

              If the client asks for alternative locations for the
              export point, it will be given this list of alternatives.
              (Note that actual replication of the filesystem must be
              handled elsewhere.)

       pnfs   This option enables the use of the pNFS extension if the
              protocol level is NFSv4.1 or higher, and the filesystem
              supports pNFS exports.  With pNFS clients can bypass the
              server and perform I/O directly to storage devices. The
              default can be explicitly requested with the no_pnfs

              With this option set, clients using NFSv4.2 or higher will
              be able to set and retrieve security labels (such as those
              used by SELinux).  This will only work if all clients use
              a consistent security policy.  Note that early kernels did
              not support this export option, and instead enabled
              security labels by default.

              This option helps when a NFS share is re-exported. Since
              the NFS server needs a unique identifier for each exported
              filesystem and a NFS share cannot provide such, usually a
              manual fsid is needed.  As soon crossmnt is used manually
              assigning fsid won't work anymore. This is where this
              option becomes handy. It will automatically assign a
              numerical fsid to exported NFS shares. The fsid and path
              relations are stored in a SQLite database. If auto-fsidnum
              is selected, the fsid is also autmatically allocated.
              predefined-fsidnum assumes pre-allocated fsid numbers and
              will just look them up.  This option depends also on the
              kernel, you will need at least kernel version 5.19.  Since
              reexport= can automatically allocate and assign numerical
              fsids, it is no longer possible to have numerical fsids in
              other exports as soon this option is used in at least one
              export entry.

              The association between fsid numbers and paths is stored
              in a SQLite database.  Don't edit or remove the database
              unless you know exactly what you're doing.  predefined-
              fsidnum is useful when you have used auto-fsidnum before
              and don't want further entries stored.

   User ID Mapping
       nfsd bases its access control to files on the server machine on
       the uid and gid provided in each NFS RPC request. The normal
       behavior a user would expect is that she can access her files on
       the server just as she would on a normal file system. This
       requires that the same uids and gids are used on the client and
       the server machine. This is not always true, nor is it always

       Very often, it is not desirable that the root user on a client
       machine is also treated as root when accessing files on the NFS
       server. To this end, uid 0 is normally mapped to a different id:
       the so-called anonymous or nobody uid. This mode of operation
       (called `root squashing') is the default, and can be turned off
       with no_root_squash.

       By default, exportfs chooses a uid and gid of 65534 for squashed
       access. These values can also be overridden by the anonuid and
       anongid options.  Finally, you can map all user requests to the
       anonymous uid by specifying the all_squash option.

       Here's the complete list of mapping options:

              Map requests from uid/gid 0 to the anonymous uid/gid. Note
              that this does not apply to any other uids or gids that
              might be equally sensitive, such as user bin or group

              Turn off root squashing. This option is mainly useful for
              diskless clients.

              Map all uids and gids to the anonymous user. Useful for
              NFS-exported public FTP directories, news spool
              directories, etc. The opposite option is no_all_squash,
              which is the default setting.

       anonuid and anongid
              These options explicitly set the uid and gid of the
              anonymous account.  This option is primarily useful for
              PC/NFS clients, where you might want all requests appear
              to be from one user. As an example, consider the export
              entry for /home/joe in the example section below, which
              maps all requests to uid 150 (which is supposedly that of
              user joe).

   Subdirectory Exports
       Normally you should only export only the root of a filesystem.
       The NFS server will also allow you to export a subdirectory of a
       filesystem, however, this has drawbacks:

       First, it may be possible for a malicious user to access files on
       the filesystem outside of the exported subdirectory, by guessing
       filehandles for those other files.  The only way to prevent this
       is by using the no_subtree_check option, which can cause other

       Second, export options may not be enforced in the way that you
       would expect.  For example, the security_label option will not
       work on subdirectory exports, and if nested subdirectory exports
       change the security_label or sec= options, NFSv4 clients will
       normally see only the options on the parent export.  Also, where
       security options differ, a malicious client may use filehandle-
       guessing attacks to access the files from one subdirectory using
       the options from another.

   Extra Export Tables
       After reading /etc/exports exportfs reads files in the
       /etc/exports.d directory as extra export tables.  Only files
       ending in .exports are considered.  Files beginning with a dot
       are ignored.  The format for extra export tables is the same as

EXAMPLE         top

       # sample /etc/exports file
       /               master(rw) trusty(rw,no_root_squash)
       /projects       proj*.local.domain(rw)
       /usr            *.local.domain(ro) @trusted(rw)
       /home/joe       pc001(rw,all_squash,anonuid=150,anongid=100)
       /pub            *(ro,insecure,all_squash)
       /srv/www        -sync,rw server @trusted @external(ro)
       /foo            2001:db8:9:e54::/64(rw)
       /build          buildhost[0-9].local.domain(rw)

       The first line exports the entire filesystem to machines master
       and trusty.  In addition to write access, all uid squashing is
       turned off for host trusty. The second and third entry show
       examples for wildcard hostnames and netgroups (this is the entry
       `@trusted'). The fourth line shows the entry for the PC/NFS
       client discussed above. Line 5 exports the public FTP directory
       to every host in the world, executing all requests under the
       nobody account. The insecure option in this entry also allows
       clients with NFS implementations that don't use a reserved port
       for NFS.  The sixth line exports a directory read-write to the
       machine 'server' as well as the `@trusted' netgroup, and read-
       only to netgroup `@external', all three mounts with the `sync'
       option enabled. The seventh line exports a directory to both an
       IPv6 and an IPv4 subnet. The eighth line demonstrates a character
       class wildcard match.

FILES         top

       /etc/exports /etc/exports.d

SEE ALSO         top

       exportfs(8), netgroup(5), mountd(8), nfsd(8), showmount(8),

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the nfs-utils (NFS utilities) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨http://linux-nfs.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page⟩.  If you have a
       bug report for this manual page, see
       ⟨http://linux-nfs.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page⟩.  This page was
       obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://git.linux-nfs.org/projects/steved/nfs-utils.git⟩ on
       2023-12-22.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2023-12-05.)  If you
       discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page,
       or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for
       the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the
       information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original
       manual page), send a mail to man-pages@man7.org

                            31 December 2009                  exports(5)

Pages that refer to this page: nfs(5)nfsd(7)exportd(8)exportfs(8)mountd(8)nfsd(8)