am-utils and recent kernels
I'm here to ask for your thoughts about what I should do with the am-
utils automounter in Lenny.
Recent kernels are more picky about some aspects of NFS, which has
exposed a bug in am-utils. See:
The problem exists severely with 2.6.25 and later, with am-utils
pretty much failing to work at all. But the problem is actually more
insidious than that, and may need fixing in etch-and-a-half; am-utils
with kernels 2.6.19-2.6.24 does not fail completely, but locking isn't
There has been much comment about this on the am-utils mailing list,
but so far no-one from the upstream developers has commented. I have
a nasty feeling the project may now be dead - there hasn't been a
release for some years.
Fortunately there is a workaround: change the default method am-utils
uses for creating its intercepts from userland NFS to using the
kernel's autofs implementation. This works well, and has some other
advantages; it's much faster and doesn't suffer from amd's traditional
pwd problem. But that last improvement is also a potential issue;
because it does break backward compatibility to a certain extent. Any
software the user has which has been relying on the value of pwd to
store configuration information, for example, will break.
An example is GNOME at sites where home directories are automounted
from an NFS server. GNOME hard codes your home directory into its
config files, and unfortunately it uses pwd for that, rather than the
returned result from getpwent(), or similar.
So I'm in a bit of a quandary, here. For new installations, clearly
making autofs the default mount_type is sensible. But what can I do
for existing installations? Ideally, I'd like to fix the upstream
bug, but it's a bit beyond my capabilities, especially without
assistance from the upstream team.
Anyone got any thoughts?
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