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Old 11-02-2006, 02:09 AM   #1
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FC6 broken with NFS-mounted /home directories?

I've been using FC4 and FC5 on my home network for the past couple of years. I have one FC5 fileserver and half a dozen FC5 boxes around the home which nfs-mount home directories. With FC4 and FC5, all was good (and still is for those machines).

I'm trying to migrate one of my computers to FC6. I've run through the installation several times now... the process goes like this....

Install off DVD, create a root account and then boot. Disable SELINUX, edit fstab to add the network /home partition and copy across the passwd, group, shadow, gshadow files.. log out and log in as one of the regular users.

KDE hangs at the "initializing system services" stage. After 20 seconds, the blinking status box in the middle of the screen disappears and I'm left with the fedora 6 background image. After about 5 minutes, the user finishes logging in. If I try to run any application, it takes about another 5 minutes for the application to open. The machine is more or less unusable like this and I've been racking my brain and google looking for the cure....

When I network mount the /root directory via an fstab entry, I can log straight in as root no problems. its only when I log in as a regular user, any regular user.

When I change the desktop environment to gnome instead of KDE, regular users can log straight in without delay (and so can root). However when opening most applications (firefox, thunderbird, konsole, ...) nothing happens for 5 minutes and eventually, the application opens, as it was with KDE as mentioned above. xterms are an exception - they come up straight away all the time.

Instead of static mounting via fstab, I've tried setting up the nfs shares using autofs. The nfs mounts have no trouble mounting. I experience the same delays with KDE (hanging at the "initializing system services") and Gnome.

If I change the runlevel in inittab to 3 and bring up a text console instead of a graphical login, I can log in as root or a regular user and text mode works fine. If I then run "startx", all of the delays mentioned before are back the same way.

I temporarily gave up on the network mounting. I copied the network root and user directories onto the local hard drive, commented out the network mounting lines in fstab and rebooted. Now all users can log in and all applications work perfectly with no delay. Uncommenting the mount points in fstab (or the autofs config files) instantly brings back the delays... and I double checked that the contents of the network directories is *identical* to the contents of the copies I made on the local drive.

I've trawled the logfiles but I'm at a loss to find one that sheds any light. I've no idea where to look to find a meaningful log trace for these issues.

Oh... when i run 'top' via a telnet session, I can see that the CPU is sitting more or less idle while the graphical console is hung. Its kind of like its doing a DNS timeout or something, but the names are being resolved just fine.

I'm **really** frustrated and about to throw in the towel. Does anybody have any experience with this?
Old 11-02-2006, 08:16 PM   #2
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Anybody know if kde now implements file locking???

Not a lot of comment on my problem so far.

Thinking more about it, does anybody know if there have been any file locking changes between FC5 and FC6. I've had problems with file locks over NFS shares before because NFS doesn't support file locks well.
Old 11-02-2006, 11:37 PM   #3
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desktop hang solved

The solution to this problem lay somewhere I didn't expect...

The file server on which I was mounting /home also has a shorewall firewall running. I've had to statically map the NFS ports using an /etc/sysconfig/nfs file defining the static port numbers, as referenced from /etc/init.d/nfs*

I've not needed to bind nlockdmgr to anything specific in the past. It seems as though I was exporting NFS to FC5 systems without locking the nlockmgr down. This is not the case with FC6 - nlockmgr does need to be locked down. So I statically locked the additional ports, opened shorewall pinholes, and the desktop delays disappeared.

Hope this helps somebody else.


fc6, kde, nfs

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