NFS_v4 stall, how to rescure without reboot

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Posted in categories: Computer Tips, Work related

Sometimes your NFS mount stopped response. You cannot umount normally, if you use umount -l to unmount it, you cannot mount it again, Mounting attempt stalls too. The suggestion on the interenet was to just reboot the client. But you may have important jobs or services on it and you really do not want to.

Here is a rescue:

After you unmounted the volume using umount -l, edit your /etc/fstab file, add vers=3 in front of the “defaults,_netdev” or whatever nfs mounting option column of the stalled volume, save it. Then you try mounting it again, and it is mounted.

This is not the end of story. There are some important new features from NFS_v4 that you do not want to permanently backup to NFS_v3. And someday the vers=3 mount may stall again.

Do not worry. Actually as long as the nfs server is still working, the calls that caused nfs stall will resolve or time out slowly. Wait a day or two, then you go back to the nfs client node, umount the volume mounted with vers=3. If it is in use, use umount -l to unmount it. Then you go editing the /etc/fstab file again, remove the vers=3 instruction, save it. Then you go back to your prompt and mount the volume again. As long as all pending calls that caused the original nfs stall are resolved, you will be able to mount the volume by default version, NFS_v4, again.

This process can be repeated is similar issue happens again, and you are free of being forced to reboot the nfs client box.

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