Re: NFS Problem in Kernel 2.0.27: inode status not updated

Matthias Urlichs (
5 Jan 1997 10:40:04 +0100

In, article <>, (Stephen R. van den Berg) writes:
> Tim Wright <> wrote:
> >You cannot rely on ANY Unix filesystems semantics using NFSv2.
> I agree that it's fairly bad. But, if you make sure that you're the
> only client operating on a certain file which has never existed before,
> the results aren't so bad (if the NFS-client and server are a good quality
> implementation).
Why should you want that?

IMHO, relying on any such thing is evil. People will surely use your code
in environments where that assumption doesn't hold; after all, it works (almost)
flawlessly regardless, right?

The "almost" is the problem.

Read maildir(5), a manual page from the qmail system. It describes a reliable
mail delivery system which works over NFS, even if multiple mail servers
write to the same mail spool.

Obviously, this is a one-file-per-message system. This has other
advantages; for instance, it's very easy to accomplish a "mails older than
a month and bigger than 10k will vanish" trick with a simple find | xargs rm.

Equally obviously, you need client support for maildir. I haven't found
much yet, unfortunately. However, IMHO it's a much better idea to create a
patch for elm which supports maildir than to invent yet another limited-use
locking scheme.

Assembly line workers do it over and over.
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