Troubleshooting the NFS/AFS Translator

Acceptable performance by the NFS/AFS translator depends for the most part on NFS. Sometimes, problems that appear to be AFS file server outages, broken connections, or inaccessible files are actually caused by NFS outages.

This section describes some common problems and their possible causes. If other problems arise, contact your system administrator, who can ask the AFS Product Support group for assistance if necessary.


To avoid degrading AFS performance, the Cache Manager on the translator machine does not immediately send changes made on NFS client machines to the File Server. Instead, it checks every 60 seconds for such changes and sends them then. It can take longer for changes made on an NFS client machine to be saved than for changes made on an AFS client machine. The save operation must complete before the changes are visible on NFS client machines that are using a different translator machine or on AFS client machines.

Your NFS Client Machine is Frozen

If your system administrator has used the recommended options when creating an NFS mount to an NFS/AFS translator machine, then the mount is both hard and interruptible:

  • A hard mount means that the NFS client retries its requests if it does not receive a response within the expected time frame. This is useful because requests have to pass through both the NFS and AFS client software, which can sometimes take longer than the NFS client expects. However, it means that if the NFS/AFS translator machine actually becomes inaccessible, your NFS client machine can become inoperative (freeze or hang).

  • If the NFS mount is interruptible, then in the case of an NFS/AFS translator machine outage you can press <Ctrl-c> or another interrupt signal to halt the NFS client's repeated attempts to access AFS. You can then continue to work locally, or can NFS-mount another translator machine. If the NFS mount is not interruptible, you must actually remove the mount to the inaccessible translator machine.

NFS/AFS Translator Reboots

If you have authenticated to AFS and your translator machine reboots, you must issue the klog command (and knfs command, if appropriate) to reauthenticate. If you used the knfs command's -sysname argument to define your NFS client machine's system name, use it again.

System Error Messages

This section explains possible meanings for NFS error messages you receive while accessing AFS filespace.

stale NFS client

Getpwd: can't read

Both messages possibly means that your translator machine was rebooted and cannot determine the pathname to the current working directory. To reestablish the path, change directory and specify the complete pathname starting with /afs.

NFS server translator_machine is not responding still trying.

The NFS client is not getting a response from the NFS/AFS translator machine. If the NFS mount to the translator machine is a hard mount, your NFS client continues retrying the request until it gets a response (see Your NFS Client Machine is Frozen). If the NFS mount to the translator machine is a soft mount, the NFS client stops retrying after a certain number of attempts (three by default).