Subject: Re: Help with picking out a system
To: Robert L. Shady <>
From: Brian Reynolds <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/06/1994 21:51:59
> >  * 3) Should we setup one "SERVER" that has all of the hard drive space, and
> >  *    then mount it on each "DIALUP" machine?  This provides us an easy way
> >  *    to allow users transparent access to their mail, etc.
> > 
> > There is one inherent problem with this:  mail.  Mail uses file locking,
> > and network file locking is, as anyone familiar with NFS will tell you,
> > about as close to useless as you can achieve without actually being there.
> > Entire mailboxes have been lost because of NFS file locking.
> I know of several Sun's that are currently doing exactly this, is this just
> a problem with our setup, or is there a "proper" way of doing this?
> Ie: University of Michigan does this, Netcom does this, etc, etc...

Sun does this by hacking sendmail.  If Sun's sendmail detects that the
mail spool is on a NFS mounted system it redirects the mail to the NFS
server instead of doing any local processing.  Not being much of a
sendmail hacker I don't know if this is a standard sendmail feature (I
think not) or something Sun added.  Sun doesn't document it.

Brian Reynolds     | "But in the new approach, as you know, the important |  thing is to understand what you're doing rather than
NAR# 54438         |  to get the right answer."
IPMS# 30162        |   -- Tom Lehrer