On my server I have a directory that I connect to from my desktop with NFS. So in /etc/fstab of the desktop:

storage:/home/storage/Videos   /home/sjngm/Videos/storage  nfs  _netdev,noauto,users,exec,nolock,x-systemd.automount,x-systemd.mount-timeout=10,timeo=14 0 0

That's been working fine for a long time now.

I'm planning to add a new HDD in my server and move files there, one being that /home/storage/Videos-directory. As sort of preparation I tried to dry-run things on the same HDD at first:

[storage@storage ~]$ su -
[root@storage ~]# mv /home/storage/Videos /Videos
[root@storage ~]# ln -s /Videos /home/storage/Videos
[root@storage ~]# chown -h storage:storage /home/storage/Videos
[root@storage ~]#

At least on the server it looked fine, but the mounting on the desktop did not work somehow, at least it looks like this:

[sjngm@desktop ~]$ ls -al Videos/
total 12
drwxr-xr-x  3 sjngm sjngm 4096  1. Jul 2022  .
drwx------ 47 sjngm sjngm 4096 13. Apr 07:41 ..
drwxr-xr-x  2 sjngm sjngm 4096  3. Jul 2020  storage
[sjngm@desktop ~]$ ls -al Videos/storage/
total 8
drwxr-xr-x 2 sjngm sjngm 4096  3. Jul 2020  .
drwxr-xr-x 3 sjngm sjngm 4096  1. Jul 2022  ..
[sjngm@desktop ~]$

I can't find an error (where would I find it?) so my best guess is that the resolving of the symlink leads to the empty listing. On the other hand the symlink doesn't show up as a link on the desktop so I don't even know where it points to right now.

The obvious question now is, what do I need to do to see some files with ls -al Videos/storage/? And what else will I need to do once /home/storage/Videos on the server resides on its new location /Videos on the mounted HDD if that's reasonable to ask at this point?

EDIT: @cas
showmount on both show the same:

[sjngm@desktop ~]$ showmount -e storage
[sjngm@desktop ~]$ 

Also here the NFS-config on the server:

[root@storage ~]#  cat /etc/exports

[root@storage ~]# 

After the mount I rebooted my desktop and also switched on another device (that and both couldn't connect to the NFS. I mean Videos/storage/ becomes empty as soon as I move the directory on the server.

  • is your NFS server configured to export the /Videos directory? run showmount -e on the server or showmount -e storage on the client. add the output to your question, not in a comment. Did you actually mount or remount the NFS export on the client after moving the directory on the server (this will require either unmounting and then mounting the Videos NFS mount, or simply rebooting)?
    – cas
    Apr 14, 2023 at 1:20
  • BTW, for my fairly simple home network needs, I just mount NFS servers under a /nfs directory (e.g. if my server is called "storage", I'd mount it as /nfs/storage) and then make symlinks into /nfs/storage/some_directory to wherever I need it (e.g. I might make /Videos a symlink to /nfs/storage/Videos). Or just supply the full path /nfs/storage/Videos/videofile.mkv when needed. I actually have two NFS servers, one is my main file server (ganesh), the other is my mythtv box (indra). They're mounted on my desktop machine as /nfs/ganesh and /nfs/indra respectively.
    – cas
    Apr 14, 2023 at 1:26
  • @cas Info added. I forgot to add that I have to think about a backup-strategy with all the mounting. I currently use an rsync-based solution.
    – sjngm
    Apr 14, 2023 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


Looks like you mounted a symlink file on the server to your desktop. A symlink is just a file (correct me if I am wrong here) and it looks wired to mount a file instead of a folder. I am not sure if you have successfully mounted it or not, but symlink only points to its local path (which means the path to the /Video folder on the server) and it does not contain any information about NFS. (correct me again)

Assume that you successfully mounted a symlink to your desktop, then when you check what is inside the symlink, the system will only look for the /Video folder on your local machine, which does not contain anything.

I would suggest you to create a /Video folder on your desktop and mount the server side '/Video' folder to it, then create a symlink of this local /Video folder.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .