SUMMARY: Time taken to background NFS mounts

From: James Pearson (
Date: Tue Apr 28 1992 - 17:52:36 CDT

Previously I had asked:

>If a NFS server is down, our SUNs take a long time (i.e. minutes) before
>backgrounding the mount during reboots, but our SGIs background the mount
>almost immediately (i.e. seconds).
>Options in /etc/fstab for NFS mounts on both the SUNs and SGIs are identical
>(noquota,rw,hard,bg,intr), and according to the fstab man pages the defaults
>form the other options are identical (except retrans = 3 on the SUNs,
>retrans = 4 on the SGIs). I'm using SunOS 4.1.1 and IRIX 4.0.1
>The man pages state that the "bg" option will continue the mount in the
>background if the first attempt fails. Is there anything I can alter to
>reduce the time before the mount fails and is backgrounded on the SUNs?

Many thanks to everyone that replied, but it looks like there is no way
of changing the initial mount timeout. This seems to be fixed at two and
a half minutes for each filesystem (even if they are on the same server).

A few people suggested altering some of the options in /etc/fstab, but
none of these affect the initial timeout ("timeo", "retrans" and "soft
are used once the filesystem is mounted and "retry" is the maximum number
of mount requests after the mount has been backgrounded).

Two possible work rounds were suggested:

The first is to replace the line in /etc/rc.local:
        intr -a mount -vat nfs
        mount -at nfs &

This will speed up reboots, but if the NFS server that is down is listed
near the top of /etc/fstab, then you still have to wait for the timeouts
before it mounts the remaining filesystems.

The other is to add the option "noauto" to all mounts which are not
needed while booting, and running a script at the end of /etc/rc.local which
does all the "noauto" mounts in the background. Unfortunately this means
you can't use "mount -vat nfs" to remount "noauto" filesystems at a
later time.

I will probably use the second method, but I think it's a pity that
the mount program doesn't have a sensible initial timeout, especially if
the mount is going to be backgrounded anyway.

Again, thanks to all those who replied.

James Pearson
Dept. Photogrammetry & Surveying INTERNET:
University College London UUCP: ...!uknet!cs.ucl!jcpearso
Gower Street JANET:
London WC1E 6BT

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