NFSv4: A Unix Mainstay Learns New Tricks

NFS has traditionally been a semi-robust method of sharing files between Unix-based computers. The IETF has been working on NFSv4 since early 2000, and implementations have finally started springing up everywhere. The Linux kernel team has focused its efforts in NFSv4, providing its least buggy NFS implementation yet. If that alone isn't reason enough to start using v4, read on.

Some key features are:

* POSIX ACL support, including Windows ACL interoperability.
* Locking enhancements, including advisory and mandatory locks.
* Data replication or migration is made easier with NFS's help.
* TCP-only, with tons of improvements, making NFS over WAN links viable.
* No more portmap, lock manager, mount and RPC hell; NFSv4 uses RPC, but all over port 2049.
* Security, for the first time: authentication, cryptographic integrity and encryption are all possible.

In short, NFSv4 has addressed every major complaint ever registered about NFS.

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