Introduction to the Network File System (NFS) on Linux
The Network File System (NFS) is a way of mounting Linux discs/directories over a network. An NFS server can export one or more directories that can then be mounted on a remote Linux machine. Note, that if you need to mount a Linux filesystem on a Windows machine, you need to use Samba/CIFS instead.
NFS is a way of mounting Linux discs/directories over a network ..
The main use of NFS in the home context, is to share out data on a central server (-for example, your music collection) to all the PCs in the house. This way, you have a single copy of data (-hopefully, well backed up) accessible from a central location.
The short answer is "Yes" -but the consensus opinion is: "only use Samba if you have to"! If you have a Linux server and a Linux client, those two should share data via NFS rather than Samba/CIFS.
Samba was designed to let Windows machines talk to machines running other types of O/S - it therefore like a translator. Having Samba connect two Linux machines is like two native english speakers trying to communicate via a native spanish speaker (-who has to internally convert english to spanish and then spanish back to english), however entertaining that might sound!
If a Linux box needs to talk to another Linux box, they can do so using their native protocols, without any additional overhead or conversion, using NFS - which is why it is much more efficient (-and more reliable, in our experience) than Samba.
Here are some examples of when to use Samba and when to use NFS:
|Server O/S||Client O/S||Use Samba or NFS?|
To sum up: in a heterogeneous network (-i.e. containing more than one O/S), you'd use NFS to connect the Linux members and Samba only when one O/S is talking to a different O/S.