Stale NFS file handles on 8.x amd64

krad kraduk at
Tue Nov 30 15:10:20 UTC 2010

On 30 November 2010 01:48, Leon Meßner <l.messner at>wrote:

> Hi,
> On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 08:06:54PM -0500, Adam McDougall wrote:
> > I've been running dovecot 1.1 on FreeBSD 7.x for a while with a bare
> > minimum of NFS problems, but it got worse with 8.x.  I have 2-4 servers
> > (usually just 2) accessing mail on a Netapp over NFSv3 via imapd.
> > delivery is via procmail which doesn't touch the dovecot metadata and
> > webmail uses imapd.  Client connections to imapd go to random servers
> > and I don't yet have solid means to keep certain users on certain
> > servers.  I upgraded some of the servers to 8.x and dovecot 1.2 and ran
> > into Stale NFS file handles causing index/uidlist corruption causing
> > inboxes to appear as empty when they were not.  In some situations their
> > corrupt index had to be deleted manually.  I first suspected dovecot 1.2
> > since it was upgraded at the same time but I downgraded to 1.1 and its
> > doing the same thing.  I don't really have a wealth of details to go on
> > yet and I usually stay quiet until I do, and half the time it is
> > difficult to reproduce myself so I've had to put it in production to get
> > a feel for progress.  This only happens a dozen or so times per weekday
> > but I feel the need to start taking bigger steps.  I'll probably do what
> Does it depend on the size of the message?
> > I can to get IMAP back on a stable base (7.x?) and also try to debug 8.x
> > on the remaining servers.  A binary search is within possibility if I
> > can reproduce the symptoms often enough even if I have to put a test
> > server in production for a few hours.
> >
> > Any tips on where we could start looking, or alterations I could try
> > making such as sysctls to return to older behavior?  It might be worth
> there were some problems on nullfs mounted nfs shares (like in jails)
> and dovecot, as dovecot changed its location for temporary file creation
> to the user home. But IIRC the error message looked more like:
> And are fixed in stable.
> Just a hint,
> Leon
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im seeing similar issues on a large mail platform with netapp and dovecot on
freebsd 8.1 as well. The problems existed in 7.x as well though. Basically
the NFS mount just locks up. I've not managed to pin point it yet but one
thing im certain of its a client os issue rather than the filer. This is
because only one node out fo the 16 will lock at any time on that particular
nfs mount. Strangely as well if I remount the dead nfs share on say /mnt on
the affected node, it works fine. I'm convinced its some kind of locking

I have dtrace (WITH_CTF=1) in the kernel, so will have a poke around with
that and see if I can see anything interesting. Can anyone recommend
anything here?

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