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SubjectRe: recent nfs change causes autofs regression

On Fri, 31 Aug 2007, Trond Myklebust wrote:
> The best I can do given the constraints appears to be to have the kernel
> first look for a superblock that matches both the fsid and the
> user-specified mount options, and then spawn off a new superblock if
> that search fails.

I think this is probably acceptable to get roughly the old behaviour, but
I still think it's a bit stupid.

What happens at "mount -o remount,..." time?

The fact is, the whole "match the fsid and user mount options, and re-use
the mount" sounds like it's trying to solve a problem that doesn't need
solving. If the user really wants to duplicate the mount, he really should
be using a a bind-mount instead.

In other words, let's assume that the user has /some/nfs/mount mounted
over NFS, and wants to re-mount it (or even just a subset of it) somewhere
else, the sane thing to do is not to mount it again, but to just do

mount --bind /some/nfs/mount/subdir /new/mount/place

instead. That *guarantees* that the low-level filesystem uses the same
flags, and it also means that things like re-mounting have sane and
well-defined semantics, and will fail or succeed predictably.

In contrast, if a user wants to create a new NFS mount, it really should
be independent of the old one, because that's (a) what other systems do,
and (b) also makes the semantics of re-mounting it with other flags be
clear and unambiguous (ie the remount has nothing what-so-ever to do with
the independent NFS mount).


This is why I think "nosharecache" should just be the default, because
that's the behaviour that simply does not have any subtle issues. The
*special* case should be the "sharecache" case, and 99% of the time that
one should likely be done with a "--bind" mount.

(I don't really see the point of _ever_ doing anything but a bind mount,
but maybe there are reasons to try to share at a NFS layer that I don't
really see)

> The attached patch does just that.

Hua, does this fix things for you? If it gets rid of the regression, I can
certainly live with it, but as per above, I don't really think this makes
much sense in the "bigger picture" kind of thing.

> Finally, for the record: I still feel very uncomfortable about not being
> able to report the state of the client setup back to the sysadmin.
> AFAIK, the only way to do so is to stat the mountpoints, and compare the
> device ids.

Well, not only don't I see that as being horribly wrong, I actually think
that the sysadmin should know what his mount setup is, even without having
to ask. But since he *can* ask, using easy and standard interfaces, I
don't really see what the problem really is.

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