Manta NFS lets you mount all or some of your Manta directories as directories in your file system.

manta-nfs implements a NFS vers. 3 server that uses Joyent Manta as the backing store. The server implements all NFS functionality, although some OS-level commands, such as chmod, will have no effect since Manta does not support that concept. The server is implemented in node.js and requires v0.10.x.

If node isn't installed on your machine, follow the instructions for installing Manta.

Quick Start

This quick start works best on Mac OS X, or in another environment where you already have Manta running. If you run into problems, see the section for your operating system below.

First, make sure that your version of node is 0.10.0 or later, and install manta-nfs.

node -v
$ npm install -g manta-nfs

Next, check that you have the Manta environment variables set up.

env | grep MANTA

Start the manta-nfs server. The server writes log output, so it's best to run it in its own terminal session.

sudo -E node $NODE_PATH/manta-nfs/server.js
. . .
{"name":"server.js","hostname":"mac.local","pid":32960,"level":30,"msg":"nfsd: listening on: tcp://","time":"2014-04-04T23:46:17.632Z","src":{"file":"/usr/local/lib/node_modules/manta-nfs/server.js","line":270,"func":"onRunning"},"v":0}

Create mount points in your local filesystem. For example, if you wanted to mount your entire Manta storage as a directory named ~/mnt, use these commands. On Linux systems, use the -o nolock option with the mount command.

mkdir -p ~/mnt
$ sudo mount ~/mnt
$ ls ~/mnt
jobs    public  reports stor

Now you can use the directory /mnt to work with your Manta objects as if they were files in the file system.

You can list the contents:

cd ~/mnt
$ ls -l public/
total 2
drwxr-xr-x  3 nobody  nobody     0 Apr  6 20:12 dirfoo
-rw-r--r--  1 nobody  nobody   345 Mar 10 14:58 essentialsoftware.txt

You can make copies of objects and copy objects from one directory to another:

cp stor/shakespeare.tar.gz public/
$ ls public/
dirfoo      essentialsoftware.txt       shakespeare.tar.gz

You can copy directories recursively:

cp -r dirfoo mydir

You cannot move or rename directories. You can use it to rename objects.

mv stor/books/ public/
mv: rename stor/books/ to public/books/: Is a directory
$ mv config.xml configuration.xml

Other commands that you cannot use on Manta objects include:

You can use the touch command to force an object in your manta-nfs mount to sync up with the object in Manta.

How Manta-NFS Works

The manta-nfs server caches Manta objects locally. Cached operations are fast, but a cache miss is slower than accessing Manta directly.

Be careful if you access Manta objects through different mechanisms (Manta CLI, Manta REST API, etc) or from different locations. If you write an object using one mechanism, such as manta-nfs, and immediately read it using another, such as the Manta CLI, you probably won't see the same data. The manta-nfs server caches Manta objects locally for a period of time before writing them back to Manta. Likewise, if you update an existing object using the Manta CLI, the manta-nfs server may have a stale copy in its local cache for some time. In this case you can wait for the server to notice the object has changed, or you can force the server to refresh its cached copy by touching the file.

The reliability of the cached objects depends entirely on the file system of your local machine.

There are certain NFS operations that are not supported because Manta itself does not support the underlying concept. These are:

Running Manta-NFS as a Service

This section tells you how to run Manta-NFS as a service that starts when your machine boots. The steps to do this vary from operating system to operating system.

You can find files mentioned in this section (launchd, SMF, rc) in the manta-nfs repo on GitHub.

Writing a Configuration File

In the QuickStart, we used the Manta environment variables to tell manta-nfs which Manta account and which credentials to use. When running as a service, it's best to provide this information in a configuration file.

The minimal configuration file is:

    "manta": {
        "keyFile": "/Users/mantauser/.ssh/id_rsa",
        "keyId": "03:71:24:1c:b6:64:51:9e:9d:6b:06:bf:4f:7c:19:dc",
        "url": "",
        "user": "mantauser"

The keyfile field is the location of your SSH private key. The keyId field is the signature of your public SSH key.

You can find a fully commented example of all the sections and fields that are legal in a configuration file in etc/example.json.

Testing the Configuration and Environment

The sections that follow give more detailed instructions about what you need, such as additional packages, to run manta-nfs under different operating systems.

If you want to give your setup a test, you can use this command:

sudo node server.js -f /usr/local/manta-nfs/etc/manta-nfs.json > logfile 2>&1 &

You should specify the location of your config file, and on SmartOS, use pfexec instead of sudo.

Darwin (OS X)

The svc/launchd/com.joyent.mantanfs.plist file provides an example configuration for launchd(8). Edit the file and provide the correct paths to 'node', 'server.js' and your configuration file.

Note that this configuration will bring the service up only if an interface other than lo has an IPV4/IPV6 address. However the reverse is not true, and launchd will not bring down the service if the network goes away.

Place the config files in /usr/local/manta-nfs/etc/manta-nfs.json.

Run the following to load and start the service:

sudo cp svc/launchd/com.joyent.mantanfs.plist /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
sudo launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.joyent.mantanfs.plist


In order to mount from the host, the system's 'rpcbind' must be running. The server's built-in portmapper cannot be used. If the svc is not already enabled, enable it.

# svcadm enable network/rpc/bind

If you intend to serve external hosts, you must also ensure that the bind service is configured to allow access. To check this:

# svccfg -s bind listprop config/local_only

If this is set to true, you need to change it to false.

# svccfg -s bind setprop config/local_only=false
# svcadm refresh bind

Due to a mis-design in the SmartOS mount code, mounting will fail on older platforms. If you see the following, you know your mount code is incorrect.

nfs mount: : RPC: Program not registered
nfs mount: retrying: /home/

You will either need to run on a newer platform or you can use this fixed NFS mount command explicitly. e.g.

pfexec ./mount /home/foo/mnt

For unmounting, you can use this fixed umount command explicitly.

On SmartOS the uid/gid for 'nobody' is 60001.

The svc/smf/manta-nfs.xml file provides an example configuration for smf(5). If necessary, edit the file and provide the correct paths to 'node', 'server.js' and your configuration file.

Run the following to load and start the service:

svccfg -v import svc/smf/manta-nfs.xml


There is no lock manager included in manta-nfs, so you must disable locking when you mount under Linux.

mount -o nolock /home/foo/mnt

Some distributions (e.g. Ubuntu or Centos) may not come pre-installed with the /sbin/mount.nfs command which is needed to perform a mount, while others (e.g. Fedora) may be ready to go. On Ubuntu, install the nfs-common package.

apt-get install nfs-common

On Centos, install the nfs-utils package.

yum install nfs-utils

Installing these packages also installs and starts rpcbind. However, manta-nfs will not be able to register with it. To work around this, you can do one of these things:

On Linux the uid/gid for 'nobody' is 65534.

To setup the server as a service, so that it runs automatically when the system boots, you need to hook into the system's service manager. Linux offers a variety of dfferent service managers, depending upon the distribution.


Because of the POSIX dependencies in the server, the code does not currently build on Windows. However, the Windows NFS client can be used with a server running on a Unix-based host. Before you can use NFS you may need to set it up on your Windows system. The procedure varies by which version of Windows is in use. See the documentation for your release for the correct procedure to install NFS.

Once NFS is installed, you simply mount from the server as usual. Substitute the server's IP address and the correct user name in the following example:

C:\>mount \\\foo\public *
Z: is now successfully connected to \\\foo\public

The command completed successfully.

Windows will assign an unused drive letter for the mount. In this example the drive letter was Z:.

Windows Explorer has the same limitation as Darwin's Finder when creating a new folder. The new folder will initially be created by Explorer with the name New folder, but you will not be able to rename it. Instead, you must use a terminal window and the command line to create directories with the correct name.

Manta-NFS on Linux - distribution-specific instructions


# apt-get -y update
# apt-get -y install npm nfs-common
# ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node


# yum -y update
# curl --silent --location | bash -
# yum install -y gcc-c++ make nodejs nfs-utils

Install the Manta CLI tools and manta-nfs

# npm install manta-nfs -g
# npm install manta -g

Set up SSH keys and environment and test Manta connectivity

These next steps assume a default path for SSH keys. You can use other paths, but you'll need to modify them appropriately.

Configuring services

These steps are quite different depending on distribution.

CentOS 6

CentOS 7

 Ubuntu 15.04