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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > NFS magically stopped working. HELP!

NFS magically stopped working. HELP!
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GATTACA
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Oct 27, 2004, 12:00 PM
 
Hello.

This is a good one:
Yesterday around 11am my tech support told me I had to update my password if I wanted to take advantage of their new remote access features. So I did.

About an hour later I tried connecting to my NFS share on the department server. I can mount the directory and read files from it. The trouble is that anytime I try and write data to the NFS mount (ie copy a bunch of local files from my mac to the NFS share), there is a long pause on my mac followed by an error message:

"A server you are using is no longer available. Do you want to continue trying to contact it? ... etc."

The options are "Disconnect" or "OK". Disconnect unmounts the NFS share and okay simply gives me back the same error message in a few moments.

After clicking on Disconnect I get this error message for the Copy command I tried to execute:

"The Finder cannot complete the operation because some data in "" could not be read or written. (Error code -36)."

And the copying fails.

Now I've tried everything I could find including:
1) Verifying that my uid and gid are the same on both my powerbook and the linux server
2) Having IT restart the NFS daemon
3) Having IT execute 'exportfs -ra'
4) Adding a machine and mount to my powerbook using Netinfo Manager
5) Changing the file/directory permissions on the data I want to copy to the NFS share.
6) Mounting the NFS share via the command line using mount_nfs

All of these have failed.

We have a terrible network setup at work. Our accounts are all done via a Winblows system and then somehow "mirrored" or "enabled" to our RedHat Linux 7.3 systems. So anything you change on a windows account is mirrored when you log into a RedHat Linux Box.

While it sounds great in principle it doesn't work to the extent that everyone just uses Winblows.

I've asked the IT for help and they say it's problem with my powerbook so they can't help me. Funny thing is NFS was working fine for me up until the moment I updated my network password on Windows. Additionall, I have no problem sharing via NFS on my home linux workstation.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I could do? (Besides disembowel my IT support).

My powerbook specs are given in my signature.
As for the Red Hast NFS server, I believe its a RH Linux 7.3 system.

I normally connect to the NFS share by Go->Connect To Server

All help is _greatly_ appreciated.
Thanks
PowerBook G4 800Mhz
1GB RAM
60GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
Running Tiger
     
utidjian
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mahwah, NJ USA
Status: Offline
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Oct 31, 2004, 03:46 PM
 
Originally posted by GATTACA:

This is a good one:
Yesterday around 11am my tech support told me I had to update my password if I wanted to take advantage of their new remote access features. So I did.

About an hour later I tried connecting to my NFS share on the department server. I can mount the directory and read files from it. The trouble is that anytime I try and write data to the NFS mount (ie copy a bunch of local files from my mac to the NFS share), there is a long pause on my mac followed by an error message:

"A server you are using is no longer available. Do you want to continue trying to contact it? ... etc."

The options are "Disconnect" or "OK". Disconnect unmounts the NFS share and okay simply gives me back the same error message in a few moments.

After clicking on Disconnect I get this error message for the Copy command I tried to execute:

"The Finder cannot complete the operation because some data in "" could not be read or written. (Error code -36)."

And the copying fails.
The most likely reason for this is Mac OS X borked method of file locking. This was not a problem with Jaguar (10.2.x) because the Jaguar NFS client didn't even have the capability for NFSLOCKS. In Panther (10.3.x) NFSLOCKS were added but they used a very non-standard sized cookie for NFSLOCKS. The reason I say "very" is because, while NFS is a very old and well known standard and usually works well across platforms, NFS file locking is not very well standardized in actual implementation. This issue appears to have been cleared up in one of the recent updates to Panther. I am not sure which one fixed it but if your system is current it shouldn't matter.


Now I've tried everything I could find including:
1) Verifying that my uid and gid are the same on both my powerbook and the linux server
2) Having IT restart the NFS daemon
3) Having IT execute 'exportfs -ra'
4) Adding a machine and mount to my powerbook using Netinfo Manager
5) Changing the file/directory permissions on the data I want to copy to the NFS share.
6) Mounting the NFS share via the command line using mount_nfs
1) Good thing to check.
2) Not neccesary.
3) Not neccesary.
4) How, exactly, did you do this.
5) Not neccesary.
6) What options did you use? Should be something like:
'sudo mount_nfs -P server:/someshare /somemountpoint'

7) Did you ask IT to check their /var/log/messages as you mounted and did reads and writes to a file or folder on the share?
8) How are you connected to the network, via ethernet cable or WiFi? If you do NFS via WiFi you will have issues.
9) Are you the only Mac OS X user on the network? If not, do any of the other users have the same problem?
10) What options are the shares exported with?
11) What are they using for authentication? Active Directory?


We have a terrible network setup at work. Our accounts are all done via a Winblows system and then somehow "mirrored" or "enabled" to our RedHat Linux 7.3 systems. So anything you change on a windows account is mirrored when you log into a RedHat Linux Box.
This sounds strange... could you explain further? Are the file servers Linux or Windows or both?


While it sounds great in principle it doesn't work to the extent that everyone just uses Winblows.
It should actually work in practice! I have been using Linux (specifically Red Hat 7.x, 9, and Fedora Core 2) to serve files to Windows, Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, and Linux boxes for seven years... for the most part it "just works". I had to adjust the /etc/hostconfig file on the Macs when Panther broke NFS locking but that was easy to spot and fix. No longer a problem.


I've asked the IT for help and they say it's problem with my powerbook so they can't help me. Funny thing is NFS was working fine for me up until the moment I updated my network password on Windows. Additionall, I have no problem sharing via NFS on my home linux workstation.
Does your IT department "officially support" Mac OS X? If not you are going to have to hand feed them the info in order to fix it on their end.
For me, the situation is, if it doesn't work I have to fix it... but then I am the IT department where I work. There is a larger one but all they do is chase down Windows viruses and leave my subnets alone.


Does anyone have any suggestions on what I could do? (Besides disembowel my IT support).

My powerbook specs are given in my signature.
As for the Red Hast NFS server, I believe its a RH Linux 7.3 system.

I normally connect to the NFS share by Go->Connect To Server
Buy them some beers instead... it will go a LONG way. Get them interested in helping you solve the problem. Do any of the IT people use Macs?

Find out more about how the whole server setup works. If you run Linux you should at least be able to "speak their language".

I set up my Macs to automount the shares from the Linux server. It is MUCH simpler than having users 'Go->Connect' or whatever. I can make changes to the shares and it is all transparent to the users... allt heir stuff is "just there". If your IT people are interested in setting it up that way lemme know.
-DU-...etc...
     
GATTACA  (op)
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Nov 7, 2004, 12:33 AM
 
Sorry for the long delay in replying, I've been swamped with work.
Thanks for your help utidjian, Here are some answers to your questions:

4) Adding a machine and mount to my powerbook using Netinfo Manager
- Start up Netinfo manager
- Copy machines/localhost
- Replace name with the name of the NFS server
- Save new entry and quit Netinfo

6) Mounting the NFS share via the command line using mount_nfs
I've never had to execute this command as root. Since you suggested it I tried it but nothing changed.

7) Did you ask IT to check their /var/log/messages as you mounted and did reads and writes to a file or folder on the share?
My IT guys made a half-hearted attempt to investigate the log files. They skimmed them but didn't find my computers name or IP address in the file ends. They continue to insists the problem is with my computer.

8) How are you connected to the network, via ethernet cable or WiFi? If you do NFS via WiFi you will have issues.
I connect directly with ethernet.
9) Are you the only Mac OS X user on the network? If not, do any of the other users have the same problem?
I am the only Mac OS X user in the building.
10) What options are the shares exported with?
Exports are shared with (rw, insecure) that's it.
11) What are they using for authentication? Active Directory?
I don't know about this one. I always thought NFS matched uid and gid to allow mounting.


This sounds strange... could you explain further? Are the file servers Linux or Windows or both?

The file servers are both. All of our department principally use the Linux file servers since they are simpler to connect to and use. The truth of the matter is we have 1 IT guy who is convinced that Microsoft is the best OS ever made and that anything else is pointless. He is a nut about security. It's now at the point where most of our employees that can afford to, buy their own laptops to avoid having to adhere to his insane security policies.
The other tech support guy is just now figuring out Linux, so although he is trying the going is slow.

I have tried being nice to these guys but their best advice (no matter what the technical problem is) is to buy a windows system. I'm not saying their wrong. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Their sheer laziness and apathy is what really ticks me off. So you don't like my OS. Okay fine, but don't just give up. I'm giving you an oppertunity to learn about it! Given that they are paid to give _us_ help, I find them to be a rather pathetic excuse for tech support. I mean sure, you don't know MacOS X, but they aren't willing to learn it either. Nor are they willing to entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, the problem isn't with my powerbook but rather their set up.

I have asked for help in understanding how the network works (I'm not a CS major so a lot of this stuff is new to me). When I do ask I'm told that it's really "technical" and not something I should worry about. (Remember: obsessed with security!)

Thanks for getting back to me utidjian. I will look into how the authentification is being handled and let you know what I find. I don't think they are going to let me automount my shared space if I ever get it working again. It's just not worth the hassle to ask these guys for help.

Thanks
PowerBook G4 800Mhz
1GB RAM
60GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
Running Tiger
     
Kristoff
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: in front of the keyboard
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Nov 7, 2004, 09:16 AM
 
Originally posted by GATTACA:

The truth of the matter is we have 1 IT guy who is convinced that Microsoft is the best OS ever made and that anything else is pointless. He is a nut about security. Thanks
He must not be that big of a Security Nut. It sounds to me like he actually has no clue about security or 1) he wouldn't use anything with Microsoft's name on it, and 2) he wouldn't allow personal laptops unless they adhered to his policy.


As for your NFS woes, have you tried with 10.3.6 yet?
signatures are a waste of bandwidth
especially ones with political tripe in them.
     
GATTACA  (op)
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Nov 9, 2004, 11:58 AM
 
Well, I don't know what has happened but NFS has started working again.
This happened _before_ I applied the latest MacOS X update so I don't think it was something done on my end.

This is strange but I'm not going to jinks it. If it works, it works. Maybe the tech support updated something over the weekend, who knows.

Thanks for everyones help in this matter. I appreciate all the feed back I got.
PowerBook G4 800Mhz
1GB RAM
60GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
Running Tiger
     
   
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