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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. New and improved versions of CIFS are now
called SMB2 and SMB3. These dialects are also supported by the
CIFS VFS module. CIFS is fully supported by network
file servers such as Windows 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2012
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
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 mount utility (mount.cifs) that can be obtained from
It must be installed in the directory with the other mount helpers.
For more information on the module see the project wiki page at