Making a Temporary Connection to an NFS Server

NFS is designed to let the operating system connect to and disconnect from servers automatically. If necessary, you can also mount a share manually, for example if you need server files only temporarily.

Connecting via the Finder

Perform the following steps to establish an NFS connection via the Finder:

  1. In the Finder, select the menu item Go > Connect to server… or press the key combination ⌘ + K.
  2. Enter the address of the server share in form of an URI, i.e. following the pattern nfs://server/share/path. The part server must be replaced by the DNS name or the IP address of the server, and /share/path must be replaced by the path of the respective NFS share.

The Finder is not capable of processing additional settings like mount point or mount options. For this reason, it is often not possible to connect to NFS servers which are not using BSD Unix or macOS. In this case, use NFS Manager to connect.

Connecting via NFS Manager

Perform the following steps to establish an NFS connection via NFS Manager:

  1. Click the icon Manual Mount in the toolbar, or select the menu item Configuration > Mount NFS Share manually…, or press the key combination ⌘ + ⇧ + M. You can also select the configuration topic NFS Client > Active Mounts and click the button Manual Mount under the table.
  2. The panel Manual NFS Mount will appear. Use the Mode buttons to select whether the mount operation should take place for all users, or for you only. In the first case, you’ll need a valid administrator password, in the latter case, both participating computers have to be part of the same Kerberos realm and you’ll need a valid Kerberos ticket.
  3. Enter the DNS name or the IP address of the server to which the connection should be made into the field NFS Server. If you know that the server advertises its NFS services via Bonjour in the local network, you can also click the button Select… and choose the server from a list.
  4. Specify the name of the share you want to mount at the field Share Path. The name is the absolute Unix path on the server side. If you don’t know this path, but the field NFS Server has been filled out already, you can also click the button Select… and choose the share from a list.
  5. Enter the path of the folder in which the files should appear, into the field Mount Point. This folder must exist already. You may like to use the Finder to create a new empty folder first. Instead of entering the Unix path, you can click the button Select… and navigate to this folder.
  6. If special settings are necessary to establish the connection, click the button Show advanced options. A dialog sheet will give you access to a high number of further options. After you have edited all settings, close the sheet with the OK button.
  7. Click the button Mount. macOS will ask for an administrator password if necessary and the connection will be established immediately.

Different from an automount, this mount is active immediately and will be shown by the Finder on the Desktop if its preference setting General > Show these items on the Desktop: Connected Servers is switched on. The mount will not appear in the sidebar, however.

A server which was connected manually has also to be disconnected manually.

If you connect to the same servers and shares often, you won’t need to re-enter the mount descriptions every time: Just select one of the connections you have made previously via the pull-down menu in the upper right corner of the mount panel (the button with the clock icon). The connection will be re-established immediately with exactly the same set of options.