Posts Tagged ‘problems’

NFS Mounting Problems on Debian Linux

April 8th, 2009 No comments


I recently ran into some problems with our Linux mail cluster after a bad power bump. (Electricity. Hmph! Sooo 20th Century.) Apparently servers don’t enjoy it when you tell them it’s not working out and proceed to find more servers to fulfill your needs. After three cases of Dr. Pepper and several hours of interweb searching, here’s what I found out about the NFS implementation in Debian. It’s actually quite simple… honest.

I consult for a small-to-medium-sized ISP in Nevada, and recently set up a mail cluster using NFS to mount the vpopmail and qmail directories. Well, we recently had a power bump in which the UPS’s didn’t hold through. (Invest is good power, please, for the sake of your System Administrator!) After powering on the servers, we noticed that the NFS clients weren’t mounting the shared NFS directories automatically, despite them being in the /etc/fstab file.

I could login and run:

mount -a

All of the NFS mounts would come up, no problem. But for some reason they still wouldn’t after a reboot. Well that was no good! I’m a SysAdmin, and we like to automate as much as possible, while still being in control. I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, be on standby for the next time the machine rebooted, just to run one measly command. So I called upon my friend’s Google, Dr. Pepper and He-Man to help me out…

So after several hours of googling (LOL, gross) and digging through old mailing list archives I found that on Debian Etch/Testing, you need to remove this file because sometimes the startup/stop scripts don’t properly remove it – part of it’s locking system.

rm -rf /var/run/network/mountnfs

I honestly don’t remember where I finally found the solution, otherwise I’d gladly credit & link them here.

This has only happened twice, both times as a result of the server rebooting or powering down without properly killing NFS (with O.J.’s knife). Fortunately I’ve convinced the Higher-Ups to invest in some heavier-duty power backup systems… sort of.

I’ll be making a post soon outlining my ideas for an ideal mail cluster… trust me, you’ll want to read it. You’ll also want to compliment me on my genius.