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NFS-mount “Permission denied” error

Submitted by on February 16, 2006 – 11:27 am 7 Comments

NFS is a relatively uncomplicated functionality of any Unix system. However, from time to time you are bound to run in the “permission denied” error while trying to NFS-mount a filesystem. Everything seems to be shared correctly and, yet, the “permission denied” error persists. Here are a few things you may want to do to resolve the problem.

First, the correct syntax for sharing and mounting filesystems. Solaris 8 is used in this example.

You can create a one-time share and one-time mount for temporary use. These will go away after either the source or the client machine is rebooted. Alternatively, you can created a share that will be re-shared or re-mounted at boot time. The simple syntax for a one-time NFS mount is as follows.

Let’s say you want to mount /var/log from server1 to server2 and server3 in read/write mode with root-level access. This means that once /var/log is NFS-mounted on server2 and server3, the root user on these systems will have full access to this filesystem (see diagram below).

NFS diagram

1) On the system FROM which you are exporting the filesystem (server1 in this example) you need to make sure the NFS server is running:

ps -ef | grep nfsd

You should see something like this:

daemon   365     1   0   Dec 12 ?           0:55 /usr/lib/nfs/nfsd

If you have no NFS shares on this system, it is possible that the nfsd daemon is not started at boot time. In this case you will need to start it manually:

/etc/init.d/nfs.server start

On Solaris 8 or 9 system you need to see nfsd, lockd, and statd running. If any of them are missing, make sure you have at least one NFS share in /etc/dfs/dfstab and restart the NFS server:

/etc/rc2.d/k28nfs.server stop
/etc/rc2.d/k28nfs.server start

2) Now run the share command for the particular filesystem you want to export:

share -F nfs -o rw=server2:server3,root=server2:server3 /var/log

3) To check which filesystems you have exported, run the following command:


The output would look like this:

server1 - 10:29:42 /etc:[626] exportfs
-               /var/log   root=server2:server3,rw=server2:server3   ""

4) On the system(s) on which you are MOUNTING the NFS filesystem (serve2, server3 in this example) you will need to create a mount point:

mkdir /server1_var_log

5) Now start the NFS client if it is not already running:

/etc/init.d/nfs.client start

6) Finally, run the mount command:

mount -F nfs server1:/var/log /server1_var_log

To create a permanent NFS mount which will be automatically shared/mounted every time either the server or the client reboots, you will need to edit two files.

1) On the source server (server1) edit the /etc/dfs/dfstab file to include the following entry:

share -F nfs -o rw=server2:server3,root=server2:server3 /var/log

2) On the source server run:


To check what’s being shared, run exportfs or look inside the /etc/dfs/dfstab file.

3) On the client server(s) (server2 and server3) edit the /etc/vfstab file to include the following entry:

server1:/var/log    -       /server1_var_log        nfs     -       yes     -

4) On the client server(s) run:


To check what’s being mounted, do df -k | grep server1

If you did everything correctly, you will have a new NFS mount. However, sometimes you may get the “Permission denied” error. To resolve it try the following:

1) Use the fully-qualified DNS names of the source and client machines. This means that every instance of server1, server2, and server3 in the examples above needs to be replaced with,, and, correspondingly. If this helps, take a look at the /etc/nsswitch.conf on the NFS server. For systems using both DNS and NIS for hostname resolution, the “hosts” line of nsswitch.conf should look like this:

hosts    files    nis    dns    [NOTFOUND=return]

Make this change and see if that allows you to export NFS shares without having to use fully-qualified hostnames of clients.

2) If this does not help, try to export a filesystem in a more general fashion:

share -F nfs /var/log

or you can try this:

share -F nfs -o /var/log

Common Unix Error Codes by Platform(PDF)

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  • Leela says:

    wonderful explanation. Crystal clear & to the point. Had been scratching my head for a while now regarding mount. Helped me a ton!!


  • Jeanelle the Retard says:

    Why is it Ferraris are rarely ever in any car video games like NFS or Midnight Club

    I know they used to be in old NFS games but not any newer ones. I know Ferrari has a few games with just Ferraris, but they are rarely in games with other cars. Why is this? Does Ferrari just not give out the liscence?

  • Muzahid says:

    By default the cockpit view is selected in NFS Shift, and I want to change the view to 3rd person how is it possible, I tried all ways and means.. Please help..

  • RxP DarkBox says:

    Should I get NFS shift 1 2 , undercover , hot pursuit or what ?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated !

  • Ev dog says:

    I loved playing nfs underground 2 and i also loved most wanted, but since pro street came out I haven’t enjoyed nfs games as much. Id like to be able to customize cars like you could in underground 2, with virtually endless possibilities

  • nothin_nyce1 says:

    I brought NFS Most Wanted 2012 and installed it but found out that its in russian and now I can’t understand a thing.I was wondering if is there any extra plug-in or something that I could install with a game like an add-on to change its language to english?
    I know that this question doesn’t belong here.But I need more and quick answers which I can get here only.Ask the same question in the games section too.

  • Pacman says:

    I want to buy nfs most wanted black edition
    what its price?
    Price should be in INR only pls.

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