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This is the client VFS module for the Common Internet File System
(CIFS) protocol which is the successor to the Server Message Block
(SMB) protocol, the native file sharing mechanism for most early
PC operating systems. CIFS is fully supported by current network
file servers such as Windows 2000, Windows 2003 (including
Windows XP) as well by Samba (which provides excellent CIFS
server support for Linux and many other operating systems), so
this network filesystem client can mount to a wide variety of
servers. The smbfs module should be used instead of this cifs module
for mounting to older SMB servers such as OS/2. The smbfs and cifs
modules can coexist and do not conflict. The CIFS VFS filesystem
module is designed to work well with servers that implement the
newer versions (dialects) of the SMB/CIFS protocol such as Samba,
the program written by Andrew Tridgell that turns any Unix host
into a SMB/CIFS file server.
The intent of this module is to provide the most advanced network
file system function for CIFS compliant servers, including better
POSIX compliance, secure per-user session establishment, high
performance safe distributed caching (oplock), optional packet
signing, large files, Unicode support and other internationalization
improvements. Since both Samba server and this filesystem client support
the CIFS Unix extensions, the combination can provide a reasonable
alternative to NFSv4 for fileserving in some Linux to Linux environments,
not just in Linux to Windows environments.
This filesystem has an optional mount utility (mount.cifs) that can
be obtained from the project page and installed in the path in the same
directory with the other mount helpers (such as mount.smbfs).
Mounting using the cifs filesystem without installing the mount helper
requires specifying the server's ip address.
For Linux 2.4:
mount //anything/here /mnt_target -o
For Linux 2.5:
mount //ip_address_of_server/sharename /mnt_target -o user=username, pass=password
For more information on the module see the project page at
For more information on CIFS see:
or the Samba site: