Bug 16227 - hung nfsd processes cannot be killed
Summary: hung nfsd processes cannot be killed
Alias: None
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: nfs-utils   
(Show other bugs)
Version: 6.2
Hardware: i386 Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Michael K. Johnson
QA Contact:
Depends On:
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2000-08-15 12:08 UTC by p.jenner
Modified: 2008-05-01 15:37 UTC (History)
0 users

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2002-12-15 01:09:12 UTC
Type: ---
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

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Description p.jenner 2000-08-15 12:08:35 UTC
nfs serving dies on one of my servers which is running Red Hat 6.2 up to
date with all the latest errata.  At the moment I cannot tell why or how
nfs died due to a lack of information (including syslog and dmesg). 
However this bug report is that once nfs had died, it was impossible to
kill the nfsd processes to restart nfs or to reboot cleanly.

The steps I tried were:

1) "service nfs stop": this simply hung and I killed it after waiting ten
2) I found the nfsd PIDs and ran "kill -9" on them.  This failed to do
anything and the processes continued to appear in the process table.
3) I tried to start a new set of nfs servers but they would not start
(presumably with the old ones still running).
4) I removed all exports from /etc/exports and ran "exportfs -av" to notice
there were no exports and kill the nfs processes.  The nfsd processes did
not die.
5) I noticed that nfs is provided in the Red hat 6.2 shipped kernel by a
kernel module.  I tried "rmmod" to remove all nfs modules but this just
returned some error very much like:
module X in use
6) running out of options I rebooted the server.  However this hung going
into runlevel 6 when it came to stop the nfs services with the SysV init
script, as I had tried manually in step 1.  I waited ten minutes again and
nothing happened.  In the end I had to do a hard reset on the server with
all the possibilities for data loss this created.

Upon the next boot, nfs started perfectly OK.

Although nfsd is a front-end to the kernel nfs server, would it be possible
to patch it in some way such that even when it had died, you could kill it
with "kill -9" so that it could be restarted without hard-resetting the
server?  Or is kernel nfs serving such that if it dies there is no way
out?  In which case, will Red Hat ship with both kernel and user space nfs
servers which customers can choose from out of the box (like vixie-cron vs.


Comment 1 regs 2000-08-25 08:11:32 UTC
I'm seeing more severe behavior.  The machine will come up okay.  However, as
soon as a mount request is made, everything goes down the drain.  Any open
shells stop accepting input. login running on console ttys stop bringing up
passwords prompts.  The upside is that the interfaces and firewall continue
routing and filtering correctly, but named stops responding queries.  sshd stops
accpeting logins.  Ctrl-Alt-Del fails to reboot the machine.  Bewm... hit the
reset switch.  I forced a replacement of my nfs-utils package... same behavior.

I went ahead and made all my logging synchronous and this is all that shows up:

Aug 25 00:51:37 router nfs: rpc.mountd shutdown failed
Aug 25 00:51:37 router nfs: rpc.mountd startup succeeded
Aug 25 00:51:37 router kernel: Installing knfsd (copyright (C) 1996
Aug 25 00:51:54 router mountd[721]: export request from 
Aug 25 00:53:17 router mountd[721]: authenticated mount request from
host52.haus.nebcorp.com:947 for /home (/home) 

The next log line is from after the reboot:

Aug 25 00:57:44 router syslogd 1.3-3: restart.

This behavior has started suddenly and is not on the heels of any configuration

Comment 2 p.jenner 2000-09-15 08:10:12 UTC
I am happy for the bug report to be closed as "not a bug" as I have evaluated
the alternatives independently and am happy that actually Red Hat 6.2 is shipped
with the best stable NFS support available.

Cheers and sorry for opening this originally when it was not really required,


Comment 3 Alan Cox 2002-12-15 01:09:12 UTC
Thankfully NFS improved much since then. Closing

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