Strange NFS automounter problem

Posted on 2004-11-09
Last Modified: 2013-12-27

Currently, I have a NFS server running on Solaris 9, which share out user's home directory.
All my clients are using Sun Ultra 5/10 workstation. All these workstation is running on SunOS 5.5.1.
Below is the auto_master and auto_home for all my client's workstation.

# Master map for automounter
/net            -hosts          -nosuid
/auto_home      auto_home
/xfn            -xfn
/home1          /etc/auto_home

# Home directory map for automounter
*       myserver:/home1/&

All my clients was able to automount all the directory in home1, but some client workstation encounter some strange problem when they mount to the directory in home1.

This is the problem I'm encounting now. Let say my /home1/user1 directory contains the following files/directory in it.

drwxr-xr-x  34 usr   staff       1024 Oct 14 09:13 old
drwxr-xr-x  55 usr   staff       2048 Oct 11 08:47 used
-rw-r--r--   1 usr   staff       1613 Nov  2 08:nov01_19_37
-rw-r--r--   1 usr   staff      13372 Nov  2 08:nov01_19_46
drwxr-xr-x   4 usr   staff        512 Oct  3  2003 TRAIN
drwxr-xr-x  25 usr   staff        512 Oct 29  2002 archieved
drwxr-xr-x  15 usr   staff        512 Apr 18  2003 debug

On the problematic client workstation, when I 'cd' to /home1/user1 and do a 'ls', I only get the following output.

drwxr-xr-x  15 usr   staff        512 Apr 18  2003 debug
drwxr-xr-x  34 usr   staff       1024 Jan 12  2004 old
drwxr-xr-x  50 usr   staff       1024 Nov  9 13:39 used

When I update certain files in /home1/user1 directory on the problematic client workstation, the update is not reflected on the server home directory.

This is a very strange problem as I'm able to automount to the shared folder, but I'm not able to view all the files/folder in it. Somemore, the updates done on the problem workstation onto the shared automount directory is not reflected on the server.

Someone pls help.
Question by:ShadowWarrior111
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    when you say "some cliente workstation", do you mean just one or many?
    i would do the following:
    - check for clues in /var/adm/messages on server and client
    - try to mount the NFS manually onto another mount point in the client and check if that way works
    - try to ls /net/server/home1/user1  and check if  that works
    - try to mount another machine NFS onto the client to see if it behaves the same

    That of course won't fix the problem but will probably give more clues for researching further

    LVL 51

    Assisted Solution

    check /var/adm/messages and/or /var/log/syslog
    then check on both server and client:
      rpcinfo | egrep 'mount|nfs'

    the second column in the result tells you which NFS version is used
    both, client and server should have the same (1, 2, 3 usually)
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Currently, I have around 5 client workstation facing this problem. Below is the answer to some of the question.

    1. There's nothing unusual found on the messages for both the server and client.

    2. When I do manual NFS mount of the home directory, I'm able to see all the files, but the automounted home directory still display certain directory only.

    3. I'm able to do `ls /net/server/home1/user1`

    As I'm not able to reboot these problematic workstations for the time being, I'm not able to determine whether this problem can be solved once rebooted. I'm also not able to unmount the current home directory as it is being used.

    Is there any solution out there to fix this strange problem?

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    so, in point #3 you are able to do the ls /netc/server/home1/user1, do you see al its files?

    I would try to restart the automountd and nfs.client.

    check out for patches regarding automount and nfs for sunos 5.5.1 at sunsolve:

    the ones I found for automount:


    for nfs there's a bunch.

    Also, try this:

    cd to /home1/user1/
    and do a
    truss ls -la

    see if by any chance the files that are hidden are attempted to be read.

    LVL 51

    Expert Comment

    I'd reboot the server, on the client it's sufficient to stop and start all mount/nfs services (including portmapper)

    Also: I'm still waiting for the results of rpcinfo ...
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Hi rugdog/ahoffmann,

    Thank you both for your help. 1st of all, I'm not able to reboot the workstation as the workstation is being used to run some application. Somemore, when I try to stop/start the nfs daemon, it will say that home drive is busy..
    Anyhow, the problem is solved once I reboot the workstation.

    I'm really thankful for both your help. How do I split the points between you two?


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