Friday, October 5, 2012

NFS in android- why isn't this built in?

This seems like such a no brainer- right now using fileshares with android devices tends to be fairly painful, even with utilities such as astro, es file explorer, etc.

Why? Because none of those let you actually mount filesystems.

You want to view/use a file on a network share, you have to copy it to your device, work on it and then copy it back. That's such a waste, especially considering how long linux has had access to smbmount, nfsmount and the like. And they are so easy to setup. I mean, incredibly easy. But yet for an android device, this is a nightmare of rooting, installing apps (not that I've got anything against CIFS manager mind you, except that you've got to root your device to use it, and it's got to be running CM7), and running a gauntlet of compatibility issues.

NFS/SMB read capabilities are right there at the OS level, literally compiling in NFS support for the kernel is a check box or switch during compile time, and it takes pretty much no effort to supply. Not giving us this ability means that device storage built into our devices is getting wasted needlessly. Filesharing is a common every day solution for a lot of things, and even in the home user market no less. Network attached storage is even an option now on some routers- so the technology is being made easily available.

By including this is in the stock android deployments, we could get much easier use from our devices, and it would be yet another step to making BYOD less of a headache for system's administrators- ie, the data your users are using is still locked on the fileserver, and not on their devices.

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