How-to: NFS mount a Dreambox from a Mac

Gosh, it ain’t that easy to mount a remote NFS share from a Mac. At least not if the NFS server is a Dreambox DM800 sat/cable tuner.

Connecting to a NFS share using Mac OS X is usually pretty easy: open Finder, hit Command-K and enter the remote NFS share address:

My Dreambox is running at 192.168.1.35 but you have to provide your own address or hostname. In my case, the Dreambox also resolves with the hostname dm800.local. If you’re unable to connect using Finder and you’re sure there’s an NFS server running in your Dreambox you will have to do some tricks with Terminal to make it work.

Use the showmount command to see the exported NFS shares:

showmount -e 192.168.1.35
Exports list on 192.168.1.35:
/media/hdd                    Everyone

If you see a NFS share using showmount, let’s try to connect to it from the command line:

sudo mount -t nfs 192.168.1.35:/media/hdd /Volumes

You may get an output like this:

mount_nfs: bad MNT RPC: RPC: Timed out
mount_nfs: can't access /media/hdd/: Permission denied

or

mount_nfs: /Volumes: Operation not permitted

If this is the case, you will have to apply two changes to your Dreambox’s NFS server configuration in order to be able to connect using Finder.

Add the client address to the remote hosts file

Find out the private network IP address your Mac is using. You could do this using the ifconfig command but for some it’s easier to go to -> System Preferences -> Network -> Ethernet (or AirPort, depending on what’s active). My Mac runs as 192.168.1.57.

Connnect to your Dreambox using ssh. By the way, you first have to set a ssh password from the Dreambox menu to be able to log in using ssh. In my case, I connect to the Dreambox like this:

ssh root@192.168.1.35

Add the client’s (your Mac) private network IP address to the /etc/hosts file:

echo "192.168.1.57 doesntmatter" >> /etc/hosts

The hostname really doesn’t matter. The Mac OS NFS client just needs to be able to resolve the clients IP address on the NFS server for some reason but don’t ask me why.

Configuring NFS exports

Edit the /etc/exports file in your Dreambox and make it look like this:

/media/hdd *(rw,insecure,no_subtree_check,sync,all_squash,anonuid=0,anongid=0)

I’m squashing all NFS clients to the root account on my Dreambox which means the client is getting root access on the files it sees. In a public network this would be a huge security hole but as the box is in my private network I really don’t mind.
The insecure option is vital if you want to connect using Finder, it won’t work without it in Snow Leopard 10.6.x!
If you don’t know how to restart all NFS related services just reboot the Dreambox using the reboot command.

From now on you should be able to connect to your Dreambox using Finder.

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