CIFS filesystem

Updated: May 06, 2022

CIFS, the Common Internet File System protocol, lets a client computer perform transparent file access over a network to a Windows system or a Unix system running an SMB server.

It was formerly known as SMB or Server Message Block protocol, which was used to access resources in a controlled fashion over a LAN. File access calls from a client are converted to CIFS protocol requests and are sent to the server over the network. The server receives the request, performs the actual filesystem operation, and then sends a response back to the client. CIFS runs on top of TCP/IP and uses DNS.

The fs-cifs filesystem manager is a CIFS client operating over TCP/IP. To use it, you must have an SMB server and a valid login on that server. The fs-cifs utility is primarily intended for use as a client with Windows machines, although it also works with any SMB server, such as OS/2 Peer, LAN Manager, and SAMBA.

The fs-cifs filesystem manager requires a TCP/IP transport layer, such as the one provided by io-pkt*.

For information about passwords—and some examples—see fs-cifs in the Utilities Reference.