exportfs errors using a dir with encryptfs: Ubuntu

I’ve had quite the experience. As in my earlier posts I have recently started using Ubuntu because of some unforeseen support issues with Fedora 21, which is not end of world (I’m actually enjoying it). There are quarks here and there as I am going to explain.

On my fedora box I had nfs mount points exposed for my vm’s to read/write to so I can keep a homogeneous files system. NFS is really easy to set up… usually.

Well I started my adventure on Ubuntu by setting up the server and there are some minor differences between how Fedora does it and Ubuntu; somewhat annoying differences, but not insurmountable (e.g. trying to figure out which package to download).

Got past all that nonsense and set up my nfs server per these instructions (good stuff, thanks!). Then I set up my exports via

$ sudo cat /etc/exports

/home/jmarley/export/project/ 192.168.*(rw,fsid=0,nohide,insecure,no_subtree_check,no_root_squash,async)

Cool, now I should be able to export no problem.

$ sudo exportfs -av
exporting 192.168.*:/home/jmarley/export/project
exportfs: /home/jmarley/export/project does not support NFS export

If you see the error above, you’re probably trying to export an encrypted file system with nfs and it is not possible. Based on thisĀ  article and many others I read. I tested it by creating a new directory /exports/project and then copying my contents of /home/jmarley/export/project to said dir and everything was exported as expected.

Next I am going to decrypt my home directory and create a separate folder under my home for encrypted files, because for me it will be less work than trying to maintain my file system outside of my home directory.

Fortunately someone has already done the dirty work for me and this one too (Thanks!)

Soooo, after herculean effort I was able to get this to work. First off what they don’t tell is if your hard drive is large, it will take eons, because the system first decrypts all the files before putting them on the unencrytped drive. Then I ran into issues when I tried to move them back to my account and to do some shifty linux admin stuff as in creating a separate user then relabellings every file then removing my old user account then adding it back in then moving all the files in the appropriate areas then ensuring all my settings were migrated correctly…

I don’t recommend ^^^ . If I were to do it again, I think I would set up a separate directory and then move the directories I wanted to expose via nfs, even though I would break the homogeneity of my file system I could have saved a bunch of time and stress of having to reconfigure my OS (yet again).