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Date:      Thu, 13 Sep 2018 15:31:39 -0400 (EDT)
From:      Daniel Feenberg <feenberg@nber.org>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Gnome and Firefox, lockd and NFS
Message-ID:  <alpine.LRH.2.21.1809131520190.21225@sas1.nber.org>

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We are using the NFS server on FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE-p7 to serve home 
directories to Linux SL7 (same as Centos7 and RH7) clients via NFSv3. 
While this worked fine with SL6, we find that starting Firefox, Gnome or 
Mate causes the client to hang with the message:

    nfs server XXX not responding, still trying

and (for example)

    ~/.mozilla/firefox/XXX/.nfs00000000000XXXXXXXXX file stuck

If one tries to remove the lock, the client responds:

    Cannot remove, Device or resource busy

Furthermore, the server quickly stops serving *all* other clients also. If 
we kill the client process, then the server recovers after a few minutes. 
Our workaround has been to move the directories .local, .config and .dbus 
in the home directory to an NFS partition that is mounting without 
locking, but this seems inadequate as a permanent solution.

Since the FreeBSD server stops responding to other clients, it seems it 
must be a FreeBSD problem. Even if the Linux client (systemd?) is making 
an improper request, it is inappropriate for FreeBSD to hang in response. 
We also see this same result with Truenas and FreeNAS fileservers (which 
are based on FreeBSD) but see https://redmine.ixsystems.com/issues/927 for 
another report related to earlier clients. A Linux NFS server does not 
display this problem.

Daniel Feenberg
National Bureau of Economic Research




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