failure to mount root by thin client

Jim McQuillan jam at
Sat Sep 23 20:55:34 BST 2006


Try adding the thin clients to your /etc/hosts file.

The format would be like this:   ws001   ws002

Add entries for each workstation.

My theory is that mountd on the server would like to have a hostname to 
go along with the IP address of the terminal making the mount request.

Normally, when the server has internet access, and the workstation 
boots, mountd on the server tries to resolve a name to go with the IP 
address of the thin client by sending out a request to the upstream DNS 

Of course the upstream dns servers don't have that information, so they 
respond quickly that they don't know.  mountd goes ahead and deals with 
the fact that it doesn't have a name to go with the IP address.

BUT, when you don't have internet access, the reverse DNS request is 
made, but is never satisfied.  Eventually, mountd gives up, but the 
mount request from the thin client has already timed out and gives the 
error that you see.

By adding the entries to the /etc/hosts file, mountd will get an answer 
immediatly, and never bother sending a request to the upstream dns server.

At least that's my theory of what's happening, and fortunately, it's 
easy to test by adding the entries to /etc/hosts.

Jim McQuillan
jam at

Jordan Erickson wrote:
> I have had this happen a couple of times, and every time (for a reason
> I'm not sure of) it is because the Edubuntu server doesn't have Internet
> access.
> This happened once when I had to restrict Internet access for the kids -
> I just unplugged the cable from eth1, and later on that day they started
> having problems booting up. The other time was when someone on-site
> "re-arranged" a hub in another office, disconnecting the other side of
> the cable going to eth1.
> The only reason I can think of is that the clients attempt to
> resolve/reach a host that they can't, and time out.
> - Jordan
> Jonathan Carter wrote:
>> Hi Stephen
>> On Fri, 2006-09-15 at 15:23 +0100, STEPHEN JACOBS wrote:
>>> After loading essiential drivers the client stops on mounting root
>>> system.
>>> I have seen a number of questions similar on the internet but no
>>> solutions.
>>> I would happily recieve any help.
>>> Being new to linux please assume i know nothing! :)
>> Usually when that happens, you will get one or two error messages that
>> will let you know where to fix it. Does it show you what causes it to
>> not mount? Was it perhaps an NFS error? Or does it mention something
>> about RPC? If it says something about "Permission Denied", then it's
>> possible that your nfs server is not running for some reason. It is also
>> possible that your chroot is not exported in /etc/exports, but this
>> would be very unlikely since it's auto-configured in Edubuntu.
>> -Jonathan

More information about the edubuntu-users mailing list