and I don’t recall installing anything for it. The cifs-utils I had got with dnf install @Workstation --exclude=hyperv-daemons,open-vm-tools-desktop,qemu-guest-agent,spice-vdagent,gnome-classic-session
The cifs-utils provides the mount.cifs. The filesystem support ought to be a kernel module (in kernel-modules).
I stumbled on the same problem while working on my CI/CD. I installed Alma 9 (minimal install) and CIFS was not available by default.
Apparently, cifs.ko.xz exists within the kernel-modules package which was not available for the default kernel that came with Alma 9. Once I updated the kernel-core package, I could install kernel-modules which provided the cifs module.
Install the kernel-modules-extra package: In some cases, the CIFS kernel module may be included in the kernel-modules-extra package. You can install this package using your system’s package manager. For example, if you are using yum, you can run the following command: sudo yum install kernel-modules-extra
This package includes additional kernel modules that may not be included in the default kernel package.