I've had some hard time configuring NFS4 with Kerberos last time. Finally I made it but there are few things I do not fully understand yet. One of them is: why DNS resolution of hostnames is not enough?

I have 2 machines: nfsserver, nfsclient.

Both are resolvable through local DNS, so I can e.g. ping nfsserver from nfsclient by hostname or FQDN and vice versa.

Now I can not mount nfsserver's export until I add its record into /etc/hosts on nfsclient. It freezes on:

mount.nfs4: trying text-based options 'sec=krb5p,addr=,clientaddr='

In /etc/nsswitch.conf I have:

hosts:          files dns

What is the reason/mechanism behind it?


Ping is not the most appropriate tool to debug DNS trouble. Indeed, ping does not perform any reverse resolution to check if direct and reverse resolutions match (the purpose is only to send an ICMP packet to the IP address directly resolved from the FQDN parameter).

If I were you, I would ensure with host or dig command if direct resolution (host my_fqdn_server should return my_server_IP - This part looks like OK) and the reverse resolution (host my_server_IP should return my_fqdn_server) should return the same.

Anyway, I would guess your DNS server (which one are you using? And do you have access on its configuration?) is misconfigured.

  • The reason was indeed a lack of revdns entry for nfsserver in my local DNS. Thanks! :) – Mike Apr 30 '13 at 10:02

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