[PLUG] NFS : Does mounted file system type matter to client side?

Mayuresh mayuresh at acm.org
Sat Dec 4 00:18:29 PST 2010

Noticed a strange thing with NFS-NTFS combination:

There is an NTFS drive mounted read-only and shared read-only over NFS and
mounted read-only on a client machine.

If a large file is transferred over this mount, the connection breaks
midway with "stale NFS error".

Restoring the connection does not even require re-mount. You can just say
cd to mounted directory to restore the connection and the file becomes
visible again.

The amount of time elapsed or amount of data transferred till such error
occurs varies a lot. (In fact the file does not have to be necessarily
large. Sometimes the problem occurs with small files, too, though the
likelihood of hitting the problem increases with large files.)

However if same large files are kept on an ext4 system then the transfer
goes through fine between the same two nfs client and server machines.

In all these experiments, network quality was good. Both wired and
wireless networks showed the same behavior.

Now one could conclude that there is a problem with NFS - NTFS combination
somewhere. However, now if I use the same combination of NTFS drive and
NFS server but with a different client machine then the whole file is
transferred fully without any problems.

So, only with a certain nfs client machine and only when the mounted file
system is NTFS there occurs a problem during transfer of files.

NFS client being sensitive to mounted drive type at server end defies the
logic. Is there such dependency even possible from NFS architecture point
of view?


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