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SubjectNFS ...
Hi Linus, Alan, HJL, ...

I saw that you spend some of your time with fixing some of the NFS problems.
This is really a good and important thing to do. Go on!

It is a point where Linux has some weakness, IMHO. It's quite common that
nowadays resources are shared over network. Even Win32 is able to do that!
There are a couple of problems with Linux NFS implementation, which prevents
it from outperforming these *!#-$ Win32 systems.
Just to tell about my experience:
* Small network with diskless clients (X-Terminals), 2.0.36, userspace nfs
server, root and swap on NFS work quite okay. Sometimes one of the clients
crashes (every few weeks), but I never tracked that down, as they can be
rebooted by the users. So I don't know if this is NFS related.
* Another Network at our department is sometimes not working very well. I
have some filesystems mounted via NFS, but nothing essential. Only data
mounted on some mountpoint dir and a symlink from my homedir.
Now, if the network hangs, a ls in my homedir hangs in D state and never
gives up. Sopmetimes, I am even not able to kill -9 the process. I am never
able to umount the fs (no process is working with any of the files in the
NFS mounted dir, BTW).
* 2.1.125 knfsd starts working fine but after some time when doing ls on the
client, it only says /bin/ls: no such file or directory for a hundred times.
(That many file are in thsi directory.) Client is 2.0.36.
* Performance could be better. A few hundred kB/s should be possible on a
not to busy 10MBit network, should it? I often only saw 40kB/s, but the
server machine was slow (486-100), too. Now with P-150, I see 100kB/s
between two Linux systems, which is still a little low, isn't it?
* I read a lot of reports in l-k telling me that there are more problems if
there are other systems like AIX or Solaris involved. Fortunately, I
didn't ever fall across one of those. I can just confirm that the NFS
client of Linux works fine with the server of DEC Unix.

(You probably read the reports (from D.Strauss?) about the production of the
Titanic movie. Their three worst problems were FPEs on Alpha, hardware
problems in their computer sauna and Linux' NFS.)

I'd really like to see Linux to be stronger in the NFS area. Hope your work
will help to get this done. It's just sad to see Linux being a better samba
server than NFS ...

Kurt Garloff <> (Dortmund, FRG)
PGP key on

There is something frustrating about the quality and speed of Linux
development. I.e. the quality is too high and the speed is too high, in
other words, I can implement this XXXX feature, but I bet someone else
has already done it and is just about to release his patch to Linus soon...
[From a posting of Tigran Aivazian to linux-kernel, XXXX = disk stat]

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