The Linux Network Block Device

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The Linux Network Block Device (NBD) is an device driver extension to the Linux kernel. With the NBD device driver you can create a TCP/IP network connection between your local Linux system and a server program on a remote (not necessarily Linux) computer. To the user or an application on your local Linux system, the interface to this network connection looks like a normal block device. That way, applications on the local Linux system can access resources like files or partitions exported by the server program on the remote computer by using the familiar block device interface.

The local Linux NBD driver uses a simple TCP protocol to communicate with the NBD server on the remote computer. For more information about the NBD protocol see the documentation section.

There are many useful possible applications for the Linux NBD, see Applications for more information.

The Linux Network Block Device was developed 1997 by Pavel Machek and first included into the standard Linux kernel with version 2.1.101. You can find Pavel's web pages describing the Linux NBD at