exportfs - maintain list of NFS exported file systems
/usr/sbin/exportfs [-avi] [-o options,..] [client:/path ..]
/usr/sbin/exportfs -r [-v]
/usr/sbin/exportfs [-av] -u [client:/path ..]
The exportfs command is used to maintain the current table of exported
file systems for NFS. This list is kept in a separate file named
/var/lib/nfs/etab which is read by mountd when a remote host requests
access to mount a file tree, and parts of the list which are active are
kept in the kernel’s export table.
Normally this etab file is initialized with the list of all file
systems named in /etc/exports by invoking exportfs -a.
However, administrators can choose to add and delete individual file
systems without modifying /etc/exports using exportfs.
exportfs and it’s partner program mountd work in one of two modes, a
legacy mode which applies to 2.4 and earlier versions of the Linux
kernel, and a new mode which applies to 2.6 and later versions
providing the nfsd virtual filesystem has been mounted at /proc/fs/nfsd
or /proc/fs/nfs. If this filesystem is not mounted in 2.6, the legacy
mode is used.
In the new mode, exportfs does not give any information to the kernel
but only provides it to mountd through the /var/lib/nfs/etab file.
mountd will listen to requests from the kernel and will provide
information as needed.
In the legacy mode, any export requests which identify a specific host
(rather than a subnet or netgroup etc) are entered directly into the
kernel’s export table as well as being written to /var/lib/nfs/etab.
Further, any mount points listed in /var/lib/nfs/rmtab which match a
non host-specific export request will cause an appropriate export entry
for the host given in rmtab to be entered into the kernel’s export
-a Export or unexport all directories.
Specify a list of export options in the same manner as in
-i Ignore the /etc/exports file, so that only default options and
options given on the command line are used.
-r Reexport all directories. It synchronizes /var/lib/nfs/etab with
/etc/exports. It removes entries in /var/lib/nfs/etab which are
deleted from /etc/exports, and remove any entries from the
kernel export table which are no longer valid.
-u Unexport one or more directories.
-f In ’new’ mode, flush everything out of the kernels export table.
Any clients that are active will get new entries added by mountd
when they make their next request.
-v Be verbose. When exporting or unexporting, show what’s going on.
When displaying the current export list, also display the list
of export options.
The first synopsis shows how to invoke the command when adding new
entries to the export table. When using exportfs -a, all directories
in exports(5) are added to etab and the resulting list is pushed into
The host:/path argument specifies the directory to export along with
the host or hosts to export it to. All formats described in exports(5)
are supported; to export a directory to the world, simply specify
The export options for a particular host/directory pair derive from
several sources. There is a set of default options which can be
overridden by entries in /etc/exports (unless the -i option is given).
In addition, the administrator may override any options from these
sources using the -o argument which takes a comma-separated list of
options in the same fashion as one would specify them in exports(5).
Thus, exportfs can also be used to modify the export options of an
already exported directory.
Modifications of the kernel export table used by nfsd(8) take place
immediately after parsing the command line and updating the etab file.
The default export options are sync,ro,root_squash,wdelay.
The third synopsis shows how to unexported a currently exported
directory. When using exportfs -ua, all entries listed in etab are
removed from the kernel export tables, and the file is cleared. This
effectively shuts down all NFS activity.
To remove an export to a host, specify a host:/path pair. This deletes
the specified entry from etab and removes the corresponding kernel
entry (if any). To remove one or more exports to several hosts, use
Dumping the Export Table
Invoking exportfs without further options shows the current list of
exported file systems. When giving the -v option, the list of flags
pertaining to each export are shown in addition.
The following adds all directories listed in /etc/exports to
/var/lib/nfs/etab and pushes the resulting export entries into the
# exportfs -a
To export the /usr/tmp directory to host django, allowing asynchronous
writes, one would do this:
# exportfs -o async django:/usr/tmp
To unexport the /usr/tmp directory:
# exportfs -u django:/usr/tmp
To unexport all the directories listed in /etc/exports:
# exportfs -au
Exporting to IP networks, DNS and NIS domains does not enable clients
from these groups to access NFS immediately; rather, these sorts of
exports are hints to mountd(8) to grant any mount requests from these
clients. This is usually not a big problem, because any existing
mounts are preserved in rmtab across reboots.
When unexporting a network or domain entry, any current exports to
members of this group will be checked against the remaining valid
exports and if they themselves are no longer valid they will be
Olaf Kirch, <email@example.com>
Neil Brown, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
18 July 2003 exportfs(8)