Some days the obvious just passes you by.
On a fresh install of Ubuntu server I found that trying to mount an NFS export from our NAS wouldn’t complete. I had the correct options in /etc/fstab on this machine and in /etc/exports on the NFS server as evidence by the success of other machines connected to it. Mounting it on this server gave the following error:
root@iknow:/var/log# mount /mnt/backup
mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on 10.20.30.40:/mnt/my_backup,
missing codepage or helper program, or other error
(for several filesystems (e.g. nfs, cifs) you might
need a /sbin/mount. helper program)
In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
dmesg | tail or so
After double checking everything several times the light bulb finally came on. nfs-common wasn’t installed!
sudo apt-get install nfs-common
It installed, I retried the mount, and it succeeded. Just remember that as a client, you have to have nfs-common installed if you want to mount an NFS export from the server.