Network File System (NFS) is a distributed file system protocol originally developed by Sun Microsystems (Sun) in 1984, allowing a user on a client computer to access files over a computer network much like local storage is accessed. NFS, like many other protocols, builds on the Open Network Computing Remote Procedure Call (ONC RPC) system. NFS is an open IETF standard defined in a Request for Comments (RFC), allowing anyone to implement the protocol.
NFS is often used with Unix operating systems (such as Solaris, AIX, HP-UX), Apple’s macOS, and Unix-like operating systems (such as Linux and FreeBSD). It is also available to operating systems such as Acorn RISC OS, AmigaOS, the classic Mac OS, OpenVMS, MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, OS/2, ArcaOS, Novell NetWare, and IBM i.
Alternative remote file access protocols include the Server Message Block (SMB, also termed CIFS), Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), NetWare Core Protocol (NCP), and OS/400 File Server file system (QFileSvr.400).