nfs & firewall, hard vs soft mount

Colin Brace cb at
Thu Apr 24 15:35:40 UTC 2008

Hi all,

I have a FreeBSD v7 box set up as gateway/mailserver/WAP. I leave my WAP
unencrypted, so my neighbors can use it, and use PF to allow just a few
specific services (dhcp dns, http, https).

I'd like to be able to mount a couple of NFS shares from a desktop box
running Fedora on a wireless client. I've opened  the sunrpc and nfs ports
in PF, but that doesn't seem to be enough. tcpdump indicates some high upd
ports in the 40k-50k range are used in the nfs negotiation, but I can't
figure out exactly what is going on. Does anyone know what additional ports
need to be opened for nfs? Will I need to use PF to redirect this udf
traffic to the fedora host or will it find the nfs server on its own?

Also, this page here: <> mentions
hard vs soft mounts. Since wifi is ocassionally flaky, and since the
wireless client (a laptop) is not always within range, I'd prefer to not to
mount them via fstab, but via in a batch file with "mount", but that command
doesn't appear to support soft mounts. In the past, I've noticed that
nautilus etc on the client has a fit when hard-mounted nfs shares disappear.
Can anyone recommend a robust way of mounting NFS shares?

I've also tried to mount remote file systems using sftp in gnome (ie,
sftp://host/dir), but the new gvfs subsystem (which apparently replaces
gnome-vfs) still seems flaky; it freezes up my laptop every few times.
Another drawback of sftp is that it appears to add some overhead which I
notice when watching AVI files -- the media player ocassionally stutters.

In any case, suggestions for alternative approaches to mounting remote file
systems via wireless would be most welcome.

Colin Brace

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