SLES 10: Install (or update) of util-linux package may turn on nfsboot unexpectedly

This document (7010735) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 4
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 3

Situation

On SLES 10, even on a system which is not currently configured to do NFS work, the install or upgrade of the util-linux package may enable the "nfsboot" to initialize during machine boot (as seen by chkconfig -l).
 
This may seem unnecessary; or even be a concern, as the upgrade of a package would not necessarily signal that a change to boot configuration should be made.

Resolution

This is consider "working as intended."  While nfsboot may not be needed in many situations, it is considered best for it to run during system boot.
 
The nfsboot script does not actually start a service.  It simply script checks to see if certain NFS activities were going on before the system was rebooted.  If so, the other systems involved are notified that a reboot occurred.
 
Even if the system is not currently configured to start any NFS activities during boot, it is possible that NFS activities were going on prior to the previous shutdown.  Even without the intent to start NFS services, certain checks should be done by nfsboot.
 
Admittedly, this means that almost all SLES 10 systems will be running nfsboot even if it is not needed.  In SLES 10 (as well as other Linux distributions of equivalent age), certain parts of NFS are built into packages which are not optional.  This limits the design flexibility of these checks that are done during boot.   Even so, if nfsboot finds that no other system needs to be notified, it immediately exits without further activity, so the impact is minimal.
 
In newer Linux distributions (for example, SLES 11), changes in design have separated and moved some NFS functions to new locations and different packages.  The "nfsboot" initialization script is no longer needed there.  The checks it performed are handled in different places and are not as done in as many environments.

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7010735
  • Creation Date: 04-Sep-2012
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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