TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Dec 00 Getting Started Volume Number: 16 (2000)
Issue Number: 12
Column Tag: Getting Started - Networking

MacNFS

By John C. Welch

Reviewing Thursby Unix Connectivity Package

Background

This month we will take a look at MacNFS 3.0, from Thursby Systems. MacNFS is an NFS client that allows you to mount Unix NFS shared file systems on your Mac. This is a one way sharing, as MacNFS does not allow you to share your files to Unix users via NFS. With OS X looming large, and NFS being a key type of filesharing under that OS, NFS connectivity for the 'Classic' Mac OS is worth looking at.

MacNFS

MacNFS is a NFS, (Network File System) client for any Mac with at least a 68030 CPU, Mac OS 7.6 or higher, and Open Transport. To access Unix NFS shares, or file systems, the Unix box needs to be using NFS version 2 or greater, PCNFSD, (this is the daemon, or process that allows MacNFS to log in to the Unix box to mount drives) version 2 or greater, Network Lock Manager version 3 or greater, and Mount program version 1 or greater. For my tests, I ran MacNFS on a variety of G3, G4, and other PowerMacs and PowerBook G3s. Unix servers were a mix of Sun boxes running Solaris 7, and SGI boxes running the current version of Irix, 6.5.X.

The installation of MacNFS is straightforward, with your options consisting of which parts of MacNFS to install. The entire package is a User's guide, the MacNFS Chooser extension, and online help, which consists of Mac Help files and an Apple Guide file. Once you install, you restart your Mac and serialize your copy. To initially use MacNFS, you open the Chooser, and select the MacNFS icon. You are then presented with a dialog requesting your name, company, and license number. This is my first minor beef with MacNFS, and Thursby in general. The license numbers that Thursby uses are some of the more complex ones I've seen in the Mac market. This by itself is not bad until you buy 30 copies of MacNFS, and get a page of labels, each with its own license number. A single license number for multiple copy purchases would be a good idea, especially if you remotely install MacNFS on multiple Macs at different locations.

Once you have entered the license number, you can then start setting up MacNFS. The initial presentation in the Chooser shows you a listing of all machines on your subnet that are exporting NFS shares. This is shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1. MacNFS Server List.

This list looks like any other server list you would see in the Chooser. You have the 'OK' button, which allows you to select the server you want to log into. The other button takes you into the MacNFS client setup. As you can see in Figure 2, the setup for MacNFS is fairly straightforward.


Figure 2. MacNFS Client Setup.

The options allow you to configure the basic behaviors of the client. For the most part, the default options will work. Most administrators will want to configure the create permissions, which control how the NFS filesystems apply file access rules to files created using the MacNFS client. The 'Show hidden UNIX files' option controls the visibility of Unix .files, which are normally configuration files, and not viewable by non-administrators. 'Translate End of Line' automatically handle converting Unix line-end characters to the Mac line ends. The 'Info...' button shows the statistics for the client, and allows you to change the license code for that client if needed. Once you have made the necessary changes, clicking 'Save' commits those changes, and returns you to the server list.

Picking a server to access disks from is similar to doing it via AppleShare. You select a server, and either double-click, or click 'OK'. You are then presented with a login screen, shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3. Login Screen.

The login has one unique feature, that being the 'Security:' pulldown menu. This is a listing of all visible servers that are running the PCNFSD authentication daemon. This allows the user to authenticate against different servers if the primary is down, or a specific set of NFS shares can only be authenticated by a specific server. Also, the user does not have to authenticate to the same server that they are trying to mount, so a single authentication server can be used for all NFS shares.

Once the user has authenticated, a list of default shares for that server is displayed. This screen, in Figure 4, is where the user selects the share(s) they wish to access, and to set share-specific options.


Figure 4. Default Shares.

This screen has many of the same options as the main settings screen, but any options set here, only apply to a specific share or shares. Like other network clients, the user can set certain shares to automatically mount on system startup. Unfortunately, this version of MacNFS does not allow for the KeyChain to be used to store the passwords for these shares. The 'Options' button toggles the options section of the screen on or off, (shown ON in Figure 4.) The 'Add Path' button brings up a dialog that allows the manual entry of a share that does not appear in the window. These shares must be entered using Unix path conventions, and the entire path must be entered manually. An ability to browse to the desired share would make this option easier to use, as Unix paths can be quite complicated. The 'Add Path' dialog is shown below in Figure 5.


Figure 5. Add Path Dialog.

Once the share has been selected and mounted, it behaves as any other network share would. Since Unix does not use dual streamed filesystems, MacNFS keeps the resource fork information in a separate file, that has the same filename as the data fork, but preceded by a percent sign. File access and usage is as fast as the network allows, but in general, it is speedy over 10Mbps Ethernet.

Thursby has done an excellent job in making MacNFS easy to use on a wide range of Macs. Although there are some minor issues with the manual path addition process, lack of KeyChain integration, and the serial numbering process, these are relatively minor quibbles, and are not bad enough to cause second thoughts about using MacNFS..


John Welch <jwelch@aer.com> is the Mac and PC Administrator for AER Inc., a weather and atmospheric science company in Cambridge, Mass. He has over fifteen years of experience at making computers work. His specialties are figuring out ways to make the Mac do what nobody thinks it can, and showing that the Mac is the superior administrative platform.

 
AAPL
$100.11
Apple Inc.
-0.64
MSFT
$46.44
Microsoft Corpora
+0.03
GOOG
$576.36
Google Inc.
-0.74

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

SyncTwoFolders 2.0.5 - Syncs two user-sp...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.7 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
VueScan 9.4.45 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.2.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
calibre 2.4 - Complete e-library managem...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.9b1 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more
Beamer 2.0.4 - Stream any movie file fro...
Beamer streams to your Apple TV.... Plays any movie file - Just like the popular desktop movie players, Beamer accepts all common formats, codecs and resolutions. AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, WMV, FLV. To... Read more
Adobe Premiere Elements 13.0 - Consumer...
Adobe Premiere Elements just got better. Now you can create quick movies from favorite parts of your clips or tell big life stories in full-on productions. Add motion inside movie titles, punch up... Read more
Boom 1.9.2 - System-wide volume booster...
Boom is a system-wide volume booster and equalizer that effortlessly improves the sound of your Mac. Using Boom is easy. It works like the volume controls of your Mac to boost the sound; making it a... Read more
Amadeus Pro 2.1.7 - Multitrack sound rec...
Amadeus Pro lets you use your Mac computer for any audio-related task, such as live audio recording, digitizing tapes and records, converting between a variety of sound formats, etc. Thanks to its... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: September 22-26, 2...
Your Source For The Latest App Reviews   | Read more »
Kill Shot Review
Kill Shot Review By Jennifer Allen on September 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: OCCASIONAL MISFIRESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Kill Shot is often satisfying, but its more than pushy in-app purchases will leave you... | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Vainglory
I’m going to be straight you with folks. I don’t know much about MOBAs, and I’m certainly no professional. That means I don’t know how well Vainglory, the upcoming multiplayer online battle arena showcased in the most recent Apple keynote, compares... | Read more »
The Tunnel – An Endless Fall Review
The Tunnel – An Endless Fall Review By Nadia Oxford on September 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FREE FALLIN' Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Tunnel – An Endless Fall is a bit harder to get the hang of than most “endless... | Read more »
Ubisoft Launches Just Dance Now in the A...
Ubisoft Launches Just Dance Now in the App Store Worldwide Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
For Better, or for Worse? How the New Ap...
With the release of iOS 8 (finally), Apple has made some noticeable changes on the App Store – bundles, videos, and Testflight integration, to name a few. Many of these additions will make things friendlier for App Store shoppers, but how has it... | Read more »
Asphalt Overdrive Review
Asphalt Overdrive Review By Jennifer Allen on September 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SHORT LIVED ADRENALINEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Asphalt Overdrive is a fairly simple auto-running racing game, but one that’s... | Read more »
Kritika: Wrath of the Pirate King Update...
Kritika: Wrath of the Pirate King Update Introduces New Class: Shadow Mage. Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Vampire Tribunals Review
Vampire Tribunals Review By Campbell Bird on September 29th, 2014 Our Rating: iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Hunt other vampires in the “real world” in this location-based multiplayer game.   | Read more »
Simogo Tease The Sailor’s Dream Via Thei...
Simogo Tease The Sailor’s Dream Via Their New Trailer Posted by Ellis Spice on September 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] A new trailer has arrived for the newest title from Device 6 and | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Releases OS X Mavericks bash Update 1.0...
Apple has released a patch update for OS X Mavericks users to address the recently-detected “Shellshock” security bug in BSD UNIX’s bash shell. Apple says only a few Mac users who had manually... Read more
Pivotal Payments Ready for Apple Pay – FlexPo...
Pivotal Payments, a provider of merchant services and global payment processing solutions, has announced its proprietary FlexPoint platform will support credit and debit transactions through Apple’s... Read more
iStabilizer Announces Tabarm — First Friction...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, dollies, mounts, and remotes for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, announced today the iStabilizer tabArm, the first... Read more
IStabilizer Flex Smartphone Tripod Wins Usa T...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, and other products for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, has announced today that its iStabilizer Flex smartphone... Read more
13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Get Down to Business On Your iPad With Free N...
Utah based Poem LLC has introduced Nexticy 1.0, a full-featured, affordable (Free) forms application for iPad. Nexticy makes it ‘way easy’ to create, store, retrieve and analyze paper-like forms of... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
Best Buy has 13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices are for online orders only, in-... Read more
Reports Outline Claimed 12-Inch Macbook Air D...
Blogger Jack March says that according to information he’s received from an anonymous “source familiar with Apple’s plans,” the next-generation MacBook Air will launch in mid-2015 and be available... Read more
Pelican Products, Inc. Debuts Pelican ProGear...
Pelican Products, Inc. has announced its roster of new Pelican ProGear Protector and Pelican ProGear Voyager cases for the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The new Pelican ProGear Protector and... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.