Connection to UNIX via NFS

When you like to connect to a UNIX system ( the “grand-pa” of all Multi-User/ Multi-tasking/ Network- operating systems, which was already well established when Bill Gates wrote his first line of code), you have to decide:

UNIX and MS Windows (in all versions) are NOT compatible and cannot directly communicate with each other:

To have these system communicate with each other, one system needs to be adapted to support the “Communications Language” of the other system:

Make UNIX understand Microsoft Windows Networking
This is possible by installing on the UNIX system:

I am NOT covering this, because this site is covering MS Windows and I will therefore not go into the details of the UNIX-commands to install and configure SAMBA(which you get for free as source-code and which you have to compile YOURSELF on tour UNIX system).
For more details on SAMBA:

Make Microsoft Windows understand UNIX Networking
you need to use:
TCP/IP protocol
NFS Client (Network File System)
NFS is the standard method for UNIX systems to connect to each other, and now you need a PC/ Windows version to establish a connection from a Windows95/WindowsNT system.
While TCP/IP is included in both Windows95/WindowsNT4 (otherwise Microsoft would have serious marketing/sales problems in this new world of the “Internet” connectivity, which is based on TCP/IP), there is NOClient for NFS” included with Windows95 or Windows NT4, nor does Microsoft offer any such NFS-client as additional product.
There are several companies offering NFS-client (have a look at shareware sites like or for more details).
I am covering here the NFS-client, which I have used already myself (other client use similar setup-parameters, because they all need to do the same job: use NFS, so the following information may be also helpful , if you are using a different NFS Client):

Solstice Network/NFS Client

Sun Microsystems” ( is a major player in the UNIX workstation market and played the major role with NFS ( actually NFS was originally developed by Sun).
SunSoft” , a subsidiary of Sun ( offers a full suite of connectivity software, which includes:
Solstice Network Client (NFS Client) (
A 30-day evaluation copy can be downloaded:
The following pages cover the installation of the Solstice NFS Client for both Windows95 and WindowsNT4, because the setup/configuration is mostly identical, exceptions are shown separately.

Start: I assume, that the network-board has already been installed and configured and that the TCP/IP protocol is installed.
Editing the HOSTS-file
In my examples, the UNIX system does NOT include a DNS server( so it is required to edit the “hosts“-file on the Windows-system ,location of “hosts“-file is covered below) and does NOT include a DHCP-server (so it is required to manually assign the IP-addresses):

example of Editing Hosts:
– name/ip of the UNIX-server: ggtbel00
– name/ip of the Windows-PC: am01

NOTE: the “hosts“-file is a simple TEXT-file. When adding a new line, make sure that you press the <ENTER>-key at the end of each line (which is sometimes missed-out when using the NOTEPAD-editor), otherwise the system will NOT read that line properly, i.e. it will NOT be able to translate that name into the IP-address !
Lets verify (and TEST) the network-setup BEFORE installing the NFS-Client:
In the “Control-Panel”, select the Network-applet:


Please, click on the Icon to select
Windows95 or WindowsNT4

Editing the HOSTS-file
Installation of Solstice NFS Client 3.1
Network Client-Cache
Customize Solstice NFS Client 3.1
Browsing the UNIX Network
And for a multi-server setup: Networking to UNIX and Novell Netware

Windows95 Start

Make sure, that you have installed
– Client for Microsoft Networks
– your Network-Adapter
– TCP/IP-protocol

Verify the TCP/IP properties tab “IP-address” define the IP-address of the Windows-PC, subnet-mask should be the default ( define (and ADD) the IP-address of the UNIX-server as Gateway address

Verify, that the connection to the UNIX-server is ‘valid’ (that the TCP/IP setup is correct and that the network-board and cables work properly) by ‘Pinging‘ the UNIX-server:

On Windows95, a sample of a hosts file called hosts.sam is created during the installation of TCP/IP in your WINDOWS-directory, just make a copy to the name hosts, then edit hosts. Make a “ping” to the UNIX-server, first using the IP-address and then also using the UNIX-server name (to verify, the the name-resolution via “hosts” is working properly).

WindowsNT4 Start

Once you have installed on a WindowsNT4 system the network-adapter, all required Network- “Services” are installed. Make sure, that TCP/IP-protocol is installed and configured properly with:
– IP-address of the Windows NT system
– Subnet-mask (default:
– as “Gateway“, enter the IP-address of the Unix-server

Verify under the tab:”Bindings“,that all components are active and have a “binding”

Make sure, that you located the “hosts”-file (installed during TCP/IP-setup in the
DRIVERS/ETC directory of the WindowsNT Systems32 directory) and that Hosts has been edited to define the names of the UNIX-server and Windows NT system.
Verify, that the connection to the UNIX-server is ‘valid’ (that the TCP/IP setup is correct and that the network-board and cables work properly) by ‘Pinging‘ the UNIX-server:

ping” using the IP-address and also using the UNIX-server name (testing, that the name-resolution via “hosts” is working properly).

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