Subject: NFS problems
To: NetBSD pmax <>
From: Uwe Lienig <>
List: port-pmax
Date: 03/12/2007 14:42:31
Hi everyone,

I have some pmax'en lying around, some of them still active. So far, a MAXINE
with NetBSD-1.5.2 worked as a DNS server (550+ days uptime). But the named is
causing me more an more headaches. Sometimes named can not resolve due to
communication errors with other nameservers. Therefore I thought I'd build a new
server based on another MAXINE (well 1.5.2 is quite old, named 8.2.3 seems old
too). The latest stable is 3.1. I fetched the installation package.

Netbooting off a Linux box (SuSE 9.2) does not work! DHCP runs ok, tftpd sees
the file request an is doing nothing. Ok, I used an AlphaStation 255/300 with
NetBSD 3.0 serving as the tftp server with immediate success. Installation sets
where on a Alpha 1200 with Tru64, 5.1. Everything worked like a charm.

First boot
I like bash very much. NFS mounting pkgsrc from the same Alpha 1200 lead to a
NFS mount, that hung - even a clean shutdown was not possible. I tried
restarting the nfs server on the Alpha 1200 with no success. After playing with
various settings I set the wsize/rsize on the newly MAXINE with 3.1, and voila,
nfs seems stable.

A last, some HW details:

Alpha 1200: 512 MB
            2 CPU 21164/533
            Intel/Pro 100 network

MAXINE:     16 MB
            SCSI: 1x 200MB
                  1x 1GB
            le network

Linux SuSE: 128 MB
            1 CPU K6/2 - 350 MHz
            VIA - Rhine

Is pmax/3.1 known to work flawlessly and act as an named. 1.5.2 had no problem
with the domain it was authoritative for (Class C network, no DDNS), only
lookups on other servers weren't reliable (I suspect M$ problems.) ?

Are there any known issues for NFS client on a MAXINE?

Does it make sense to strip down the kernel to the hardware the kernel is
running at (performance) ?

I know DEC PMAX isn't a fast system. But I need a system I don't have to care
about. It's rock solid hardware. If there wouldn't have been any issues with
named I wouldn't have done a fresh install.

Thanks for your help.


Uwe Lienig
fon: (+49 351) 462 2780
fax: (+49 351) 462 3476

Forschungsinstitut Fahrzeugtechnik
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