Set up Server for NFS in Windows Server 2003 R2

Set up Server for NFS in Windows Server 2003 R2

In this post, I will talk about configuring Microsoft Services for Network File System, mainly Server for NFS and User Name Mapping, in Windows Server 2003 R2. You can follow the same steps for Services for UNIX (SFU) 3.5 except only a few of them because of some changes introduced with Windows Server 2003 R2.

As we move forward setting up things for us, I have tried to include information on likely problems that may be encountered and facts which help understand Server for NFS behavior which sometimes is confusing.

And to keep the post short, I have broken them into pages -

    1. Introduction and installation of Services for NFS on R2

    2. Sharing folders over NFS

    3. Mouting NFS Share on NFS client

    4. Who's 4294967294?

    5. Configuring User Name Mapping

    6. Using chown/chgrp from UNIX clients

You'll soon discover how Server for NFS makes life easier in heterogeneous environments.

Comments (11)

  1. Abraham says:

    Great article! I hope you write more on these utilities.

  2. Jodi says:

    Great article indeed! But I do have a question: what to do when the *nix systems use NIS, where no root user is defined? Then I can’t map the root user to an Administrator. NFS mounts are made by a local root user, and the user 4294967294 pops up again. How can I solve this?

  3. ashisa says:

    That’s a real problem and you cannot solve it unless you add an account with UID 0 to your NIS database. However, if you’re on R2, you can assign UID 0 to an Administrator and enable Active Directory Lookup along with User Name Mapping. I guess that should do the trick.

  4. Jodi says:

    I hope you don’t mind me asking further, but I’m getting quite desperate 🙂 I am running Windows Storage Server 2k3 R2 (64 bit). The domain controllers however, are not R2. The only UID I can assign (on a DC) is a Unix attribute (from SFU). Is this the UID you mean? I already tried, but it didn’t work…

    Many thanks in advance!

  5. ashisa says:

    Send me a mail using the Email button on the blog side bar – I guess I have a lot more to know about your setup.

    Give me an idea about how things are set up in your mail.

  6. Ned Forrester says:

    First, it is worth noting that Username Mapping only works with

    Windows usernames that have a password set for the corresponding

    account on the server.  This would not show up on most systems, where

    passwords are naturally set, but on the embedded systems that we make,

    it is common to not bother with passwords.  If mapping is attempted to

    a username that has no password, then files owned by that username on

    the server will display on the client as owned by the mapped name on

    the server (correct), but any files written by the client will be

    created on the server as owned by anonymouslogin (not what is


    On a separate topic, I did not find any mention of the Windows

    firewall on this site.  There are instructions for opening the

    firewall for the NFS server at:

  7. ashisa says:

    True when the Windows systems are serving the shares. This is required because NTFS will not permit access unless it sees authentication token.

    I am yet to write one or two post about UNM and I’ll detail about firewall ports etc as well – just not finding enough time to concentrate on it.

    – Ashish

  8. mishu says:

    I’m still getting a problem with the nfs mount. Here are the commands to mount:

    # chmod 777 mnt

    # mount -F nfs bfunke100:AdlibExpress /mnt

    # ls /mnt

    NFS access failed for server bfunke100: error 7 (RPC: Authentication error)

    /mnt: I/O error

    On nfs sharing on the folder I have ALL MACHINES with root access allowed.

    Do I really need a domain controller to get this to work?

  9. ashisa says:

    Are you on W2K3 R2? Seems you are using local accounts for user name mapping.

    Do you have the Server for NFS Authentication installed on this machine?

    – Ashish

  10. Harvey S. says:

    I am configuring Windows 2003 R2 NFS server to share out the entire ddrive.  I continue to get mount i/o errors when I go to mount it.  However, when I create a directory under the D drive and share that directory out, I can mount that directory. Is it a supported configuration to share out an entire drive on Windows 2003 R2?

  11. ashisa says:

    You need to grant the "Bypass traverse checking" user right to Everyone to make it happen. This will not allows the users to list folder contents but just traverse through the folders. I believe this has to do with certain NFS calls which fail if the paths cannot be traversed on the server side.

    – Ashish

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