NFS Manager is an application to control the NFS features built into macOS via a comfortable graphical user interface. The application uses Apple’s technologies like Bonjour or Open Directory to make management as easy as possible. When using directory services, NFS Manager can configure NFS features not only for a single computer but for a whole network of thousands of Macintosh systems, with a few mouse clicks only.
NFS is an industry standard typically used on Unix systems designed to share files in a network for common usage. NFS means Network File System and was developed by SUN Microsystems (today: ORACLE). Every macOS system can either be configured as an
Of course you can use both functions simultaneously on a single Mac.
NFS is designed to establish a hierarchical file system distributed among multiple computers (Distributed File System). A folder shared via NFS acts in a way similar to that of an external hard drive. Computers that have been setup to use such a share connect automatically to the correct server on the network, as soon as the server has been switched on and is sharing data. No password entry is needed to establish the connection. Access privileges are controlled by file and folder permissions, like on external hard drives. Disconnecting from a server is also handled automatically when no files from that share have been used for a certain amount of time, like a hard drive which enters sleep mode. When reusing the files, a reconnect operation (“wake-up”) will also be performed in an equally fast way.
Automatically connecting and disconnecting NFS servers is called Automatic Mounting, or, in short, Automounting.
NFS was originally designed to be used in very large professional networks, as they can be found in corporations, schools, or universities. NFS is scaling very well, which means several thousand automounts can be setup on each computer, without any bottlenecks or other problems.
Because NFS is an industry standard, it wont’ be a problem to connect computers and Unix-like operating systems of different vendors for sharing, e.g. Linux®, SUN® Solaris®, HP-UX®, AIX®, etc. In particular cases however, it can be necessary that you have to know specific operational settings to establish a definite NFS connection to an operating system of a third-party vendor, for example, which NFS version and which type of data transport must be used, and which NFS features are available. Every macOS system is supporting
In addition, macOS is also capable of using NFS version 4 (NFSv4) as a client, but not as a server.
To use NFS Manager 4, version 4.5 or later, you need an Apple computer which has one of the following operating systems installed:
Of course, NFS communication can be used with older versions of OS X or Mac OS X as well. Such systems can be configured with earlier releases of NFS Manager. If you work with older systems, please see our web site for detailed information.
NFS Manager is constantly evolving, adapting to new features in the latest versions of macOS. New versions are released as (usually free) updates from time to time. To check manually if a new version of NFS Manager is available for download, select the menu item NFS Manager > Check for updates. For automatic checks in regular intervals when you are launching the application, set a check mark at the menu item NFS Manager > Automatic Update Checks.