ONTAP 9.14

to Japanese version

Requirements for configuring Kerberos with NFS

Before you configure Kerberos with NFS on your system, you must verify that certain items in your network and storage environment are properly configured.

The steps to configure your environment depend on what version and type of client operating system, domain controller, Kerberos, DNS, etc., that you are using. Documenting all these variables is beyond the scope of this document. For more information, see the respective documentation for each component.

The following items should be configured first:

Network environment requirements

  • Kerberos

    You must have a working Kerberos setup with a key distribution center (KDC), such as Windows Active Directory based Kerberos or MIT Kerberos.

    NFS servers must use nfs as the primary component of their machine principal.

  • Directory service

    You must use a secure directory service in your environment, such as Active Directory or OpenLDAP, that is configured to use LDAP over SSL/TLS.

  • NTP

    You must have a working time server running NTP. This is necessary to prevent Kerberos authentication failure due to time skew.

  • Domain name resolution (DNS)

    Each UNIX client and each SVM LIF must have a proper service record (SRV) registered with the KDC under forward and reverse lookup zones. All participants must be properly resolvable via DNS.

  • User accounts

    Each client must have a user account in the Kerberos realm. NFS servers must use “nfs” as the primary component of their machine principal.

NFS client requirements

  • NFS

    Each client must be properly configured to communicate over the network using NFSv3 or NFSv4.

    Clients must support RFC1964 and RFC2203.

  • Kerberos

    Each client must be properly configured to use Kerberos authentication, including the following details:

    • Encryption for TGS communication is enabled.

      AES-256 for strongest security.

    • The most secure encryption type for TGT communication is enabled.

    • The Kerberos realm and domain are configured correctly.

    • GSS is enabled.

      When using machine credentials:

    • Do not run gssd with the -n parameter.

    • Do not run kinit as the root user.

  • Each client must use the most recent and updated operating system version.

    This provides the best compatibility and reliability for AES encryption with Kerberos.

  • DNS

    Each client must be properly configured to use DNS for correct name resolution.

  • NTP

    Each client must be synchronizing with the NTP server.

  • Host and domain information

    Each client’s /etc/hosts and /etc/resolv.conf files must contain the correct host name and DNS information, respectively.

  • Keytab files

    Each client must have a keytab file from the KDC. The realm must be in uppercase letters. The encryption type must be AES-256 for strongest security.

  • Optional: For best performance, clients benefit from having at least two network interfaces: one for communicating with the local area network and one for communicating with the storage network.

Storage system requirements

  • NFS license

    The storage system must have a valid NFS license installed.

  • CIFS license

    The CIFS license is optional. It is only required for checking Windows credentials when using multiprotocol name mapping. It is not required in a strict UNIX-only environment.

  • SVM

    You must have at least one SVM configured on the system.

  • DNS on the SVM

    You must have configured DNS on each SVM.

  • NFS server

    You must have configured NFS on the SVM.

  • AES encryption

    For strongest security, you must configure the NFS server to allow only AES-256 encryption for Kerberos.

  • SMB server

    If you are running a multiprotocol environment, you must have configured SMB on the SVM. The SMB server is required for multiprotocol name mapping.

  • Volumes

    You must have a root volume and at least one data volume configured for use by the SVM.

  • Root volume

    The root volume of the SVM must have the following configuration:

    Name Setting

    Security style



    root or ID 0


    root or ID 0

    UNIX permissions


    In contrast to the root volume, data volumes can have either security style.

  • UNIX groups

    The SVM must have the following UNIX groups configured:

    Group name Group ID






    65534 (created automatically by ONTAP when you create the SVM)

  • UNIX users

    The SVM must have the following UNIX users configured:

    User name User ID Primary group ID Comment




    Required for GSS INIT phase

    The first component of the NFS client user SPN is used as the user.




    Required for NFS and CIFS multiprotocol use

    Created and added to the pcuser group automatically by ONTAP when you create the SVM.




    Required for mounting

    The nfs user is not required if a Kerberos-UNIX name mapping exists for the SPN of the NFS client user.

  • Export policies and rules

    You must have configured export policies with the necessary export rules for the root and data volumes and qtrees. If all volumes of the SVM are accessed over Kerberos, you can set the export rule options -rorule, -rwrule, and -superuser for the root volume to krb5 , krb5i, or krb5p.

  • Kerberos-UNIX name mapping

    If you want the user identified by the NFS client user SPN to have root permissions, you must create a name mapping to root.

Related information

System administration

Top of Page