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Mount NFS Folder via SSH Tunnel

1. Install NFS on Server

Install the required packages (Ubuntu 12.04):

apt-get install nfs-kernel-server portmap

2. Share NFS Folder

Open the exports file:

vim /etc/exports

Add the following line:

/home/proudlygeek  localhost(insecure,rw,sync,no_subtree_check)

Restart NFS Service:

service nfs-kernel-server restart

or just export the FS:

exportfs -a

3. Install NFS Client

Install the client:

apt-get install nfs-common portmap

Make a mount folder:

mkdir /mnt/nfs-share

Setup an SSH tunnel (local-to-remote port):

ssh -fNv -L 3049:localhost:2049 user@hostname

Mount the folder:

mount -t nfs -o port=3049 localhost:/home/proudlygeek /mnt/nfs-share
@lethalman
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lethalman commented Jan 2, 2016

Tried it, the performance is quite similar to sshfs in that saving a file may take few seconds, unfortunately :(

@RicterZ
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RicterZ commented Sep 13, 2016

Hello, which version of NFS was supported in this post?
By capturing the traffic of showmount and mount, I found both of them had two ports (111 and 2049) traffic and there was some UDP traffic.

@zewt
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zewt commented Dec 30, 2016

This works for me with a couple changes:

  • Add "-o proto=tcp", so it doesn't try other protocols.
  • Add "insecure" to the /etc/exports entries. SSH won't be using a low port, so it'll reject it for this. (Port numbers as a security mechanism are really silly these days--this shouldn't be the default.)

It's still unusably slow, though.

@sarnobat
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sarnobat commented Nov 14, 2018

Doesn't work for me :(

mount_nfs: can't mount / from localhost onto /private/tmp/nfs: Connection refused

@mc256
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mc256 commented May 19, 2019

Alternatively, you could use autossh to keep the port forwarding alive.
autossh -M <monitor_SSH_port> -N -L <your_local_port>:localhost:2049 <remote_server_user>@<remote_server> -f
mount -t nfs -o port=<your_local_port> localhost:/home/proudlygeek /mnt/nfs-share

@pradhamk
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pradhamk commented Jan 15, 2021

Works, thanks!

@aure-olli
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aure-olli commented Feb 24, 2021

I had to use localhost6 in /etc/exports for this to work. Weirdly, NFS recognize that localhost and localhost6 are the same (and only the first one will be used), but they are not equivalent.

/home/proudlygeek  localhost6(insecure,rw,sync,no_subtree_check)

@BilyZ98
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BilyZ98 commented Feb 12, 2022

One thing I am curious about is does the remote port has a specific meaning? is it a ssh port or is it just a random port ?

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