SUMMARY: Hummingbird NFS

From: Keith Willenson (
Date: Mon Dec 16 1996 - 16:35:18 CST

<insert usual excuses for the late summary here>


> Scenario:
> Sun Ultra 140 running Solaris 2.5.1 with a RaidStor Disk Array (60GB)
> mounted as /documents
> no patches, everything is right out of the box
> PC running WFW 3.11 and Hummingbird Maestro NFS and TCP/IP for Windows
> and DOS. 3Com network card, using the packet drivers.
> Attempting to mount /documents on the PC so we can save files to it
> from some PC-only software
> 1) The mount works
> 2) Saving files works
> 3) Reading files works
> Problem:
> After some time (10 seconds - 5 minutes) response time changes from
> normal to about 1 or 2 minutes per access. The rest of the network seems
> to slow down at the same time. A reboot of the PC will fix the problem
> (for a brief while). Nothing fails, it just takes a long time to complete.
> Has anyone had any other experience with this? I have RTFM and looked
> at the achives, talked with Hummingbird, switched network cards, tried
> both pcnfsd and hclnfsd.
> Hints, flames, freeware, and shareware are always welcome. I have
> the most recent copy of Samba, but was unable to configure it
> properly (on the PC side).
> Any working solution to seamlessly get the files from the PC to the
> Sun is welcome. More appropriate sources of info are also welcome.


There were several problems.

First was the version. Hummingbird NFS Maestro 5.1.3 fixes some bugs that
were in earlier versions. One of those bugs is that the File Manager
would "lose" TCP/IP addresses for remote drives after a while. Of course
I had one of those earlier versions.

Secondly, the PC was not configured properly. A complete removal and
reinstall of networking and Hummingbird was needed.

Thirdly, pcnfsd would run on the Ultra 140, but would not register the PCNFS
services and eventually it would quietly die. hclnfsd never died, but also
did not work.
I got the following error in /var/adm/messages:
Dec 13 14:42:43 cabinet pcnfsd[23889]: unable to register (PCNFSDPROG, PCNFSDVERS, udp).

I had no problem connecting to any other Sun running Solaris 2.5.1. Sun sent
me a version of pcnfsd, I compiled several sources, same error on the Ultra.
Sun's pcnfsd and the compiled pcnfsd worked quite nicely on my other Solaris
2.5.1 machines. Eventually, Steve Hindman from Sun pointed me to

He also suggested SunService INFODOC ID: 13639
SYNOPSIS: How To debug pcnfsd/authentication problems.

I had done all of this before he suggested it, but it is a good procedure to

I also created a file /etc/pcnfsd.conf with the single line

uidrange 101-60000

Removing all the other pcnfs stuff, untarring solaris2.x_pkg.tar into
/var/spool/pkg, pkgadd SUNWpcnfs, then rebooting did the trick.

Large packet size does not affect the stability of the connection. I haven't
tried modifying it yet to determine an effect on performance.

Note to: Johnie Stafford
  The file manager recognizes all 60MB of disk space. I put 2.8GB on the
  disk and it had no problems reading or adding to the disk.

Thanks to (not in chronoligical order):

Hummingbird 2nd level support
Steve.Hindman@Corp.Sun.COM (Steve Hindman)
Dan Pritts <> (Johnie Stafford) (Christian Masopust) (Niall O Broin - Gray Wizard)
Patrik Forsman <>
Steve Phelps <>
"Vassilios D. Papadimos" <> (John Malick) (Ron Loftin)

Summaries below:

From: Steve.Hindman@Corp.Sun.COM (Steve Hindman)


SYNOPSIS: Where to get pcnfsd to run on Solaris

The pcnfsd daemon is used for authentication and printing from a PC, and it
does not ship with Solaris or SunOS operating systems. Since rpc.pcnfsd
is Public Domain software, it is the responsibility of the Operating System
vendor to provide a port for their machines.

A Solaris 2.x version is available via anonymous ftp from:

The file is:


From: Dan Pritts <>

Check out samba:

makes your sun into an SMB (microsoft lan manager networking)

If you want to get nfs working, try mucking around with the NFS
packet size, lowering it probably. this is probably somehtin
on the client side.

From: (Johnie Stafford)

One unrelated question, How does the PC handle the size of the mounted
drive? We are currently using the Beame & Whiteside NFS & TCP/IP which
was recently bought by Hummingbird. We are considering moving to the
latest version of the Maestro NFS & TCP/IP for DOS/Windows. The
problem we've been having is with large mounted partions. The problem
is that it asks how big the drive is, the response is bigger than it
can handle so it calls it 2GB, then it asks how much space is taken up
on the drive. The response is again bigger than it can handle, so it
calls it 2GB. Therefore it decides that the drive is full. Therefore
we end up partitioning drives at < 2GB for the DOS users. Its a real
pain and we end up wasting lots of disk space.

 kw> Has anyone had any other experience with this? I have RTFM and looked
 kw> at the achives, talked with Hummingbird, switched network cards, tried
 kw> both pcnfsd and hclnfsd.

Is this same machine the authentication server? What about name
service? We use DNS and found that for some reason DNS queries were
timing out. Does this happen on all machines or a select few? We've
found that on certain machines initial attachments would take
forever. Our only solution so far has been to re-install the
networking software on the offending PC. We've never really figured
out what caused the slowdown, but the reinstall usually helped.

Sorry I can't be of any more help, believe me I've been in the same
position, usually when I don't have the time to deal with it.

From: (Christian Masopust)

At your SUN have a look at the info got by 'nfsstat' and look in 'SMCC Hardware
Answerbook' under 'SMCC NFS Server Performance and Tuning Guide'

From: (Niall O Broin - Gray Wizard)

        You asked about an NFS problem. I don't know what your NFS problem
might be, but I'd look again at Samba (I'm a Samba evangelist !) if I were
you. You said

> I have the most recent copy of Samba, but was unable to configure it
> properly (on the PC side).

There's actually very little to be done on the PC side. If you got Samba
compiled and got smbd and nmbd started, then you're almost there. A summary
of actions for the PC side

1) Do a new clean install of WFW 3.11. Don't use the 3COM packet drivers.
WFW should support all 3COM cards, probably automatically.

2) Install Microsoft's own free TCP/IP client for WFW - you do this by adding
a protocol in WFW and pointing to a directory / floppy where you have the TCP
stuff - you can get this from Microsoft's Web site.

3) Check your TCP/IP install by pinging something.

Assuming you get all of this to work, you should be able to see your server.
The beauty of all this is that you have a little bit of complication on the
server side (though apparently you've that done) but you really simplify the
client - it's all WFW and MS stuff, so there's not much worrying about exactly
what is not working. Oh and by the way - it's considerably faster than NFS.

Kindest regards,


From: Patrik Forsman <>

Hi !

I suggest you to use the 32bit NDIS drivers for your 3Com network card.
The only bad thing is that you will not be able to access the network outside
The good thing is :
 Less memory usage and SPEED !

You can get the drivers at : (under support)

We are running the following software at our site :

  Sun PC-NFS Pro from Sun (WfW)
  Interdrive 95 from FTP Software (Windows95)
  Chameleon NFS32 from Netmanage (Windows NT)

Every machine is configured to use the NDIS drivers and are running
Netbuei and TCP/IP and it works :-)

I hope some of this will help you ,
Good Luck !!

From: Steve Phelps <>

We use NFS Maestro with no problems. Can you give more details
of what happens? What exactly takes a long time to complete? e.g.
dir, copy, read, write?. Run the snoop command on the Ultra server as follows:

        snoop src <hostname of pc> rpc nfs

and mail me the output, and I will see if I can be of help.

PS: Could you also mail me the values that the parmset command came up with
e.g. no of read threads, write threads, read block size, write block size etc..

From: "Vassilios D. Papadimos" <>

        About Samba, it really doesn't need ANY setup on the pc side!
After you set it up on the unix box, and start smbd/nmbd the WfW/W95/WNT
side will see it as just another exported "drive"...

From: (John Malick)

I like Hummingbirds xterminal software but have never used their tcp/ip stack.

I use Sun's PCNFSpro 2.0 and it works great.

From: (Ron Loftin)

The only thing I can offer is to look at PC/TCP and/or OnNet from FTP Software.
I have used their stuff for several years and had very good luck with it. They
are on the Web at

Thanks all,


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