Troubleshooting macOS Catalina seems impossible_

February 16, 2020 @17:57

Buried in a long rant about general Apple screwyness lately I mentioned that I've been having issues with automount(8) in macOS Catalina. I have been periodically poking around at the system to see if I can figure out why the heck it is happening. The general wonkyness already drove me to convert my iTunes Library backup script to using rsync(1) to use SSH as a transport instead of simply copying to the automounted backup folder.

I had found a pile of reverse engineered C++ on a blog that worked briefly to expose the pile of <private> messages in Console.app but it was impossible to find anything useful that would explain why the OS seems to periodically drop and reconnect NFS connections to my shares.

Console.app loves hiding things from you

Of course at some point that undocumented loophole appears to have been 'fixed' which means that there are things being logged by the system that the user, who paid for the system are unable to actually see.

Fantastic. 🙄

So my dear lazyweb, please e-mail me if you have any insight at all into this problem. Is the only solution to downgrade to Mojave? This seems to happen with NFS versions 3 and 4, with both a Debian Buster and Synology DSM NFS server. It also happens with both /Users and /System/Volumes/Data/Users in the automount map.

My auto_nfs map file looks like:

mernisse    -fstype=nfs     tardis.internal.ub3rgeek.net:/vol/staff/mernisse
archive     -fstype=nfs     archive01.internal.ub3rgeek.net:/vol/archive
backup      -fstype=nfs     tardis.internal.ub3rgeek.net:/vol/backup
media       -fstype=nfs     tardis.internal.ub3rgeek.net:/vol/media

And my auto_master looks like:

#
# Automounter master map
#
+auto_master        # Use directory service
#/net           -hosts      -nobrowse,hidefromfinder,nosuid
/home           auto_home   -nobrowse,hidefromfinder
/Network/Servers    -fstab
/-          -static
/System/Volumes/Data/Users/mernisse/Shares  auto_nfs

And yet I still get random disconnects and this lovely situation 🤦‍♀️ :

kitsune@17:34:53 ~ >uptime && mount | grep -c 'autofs'
17:35  up 5 days, 36 mins, 5 users, load averages: 2.20 2.24 2.24
763

Is there any updated documentation provided by Apple on how they would like you to use automount(8) in the brave new world? Everything I have found is old and unsurprisingly the StackExchange posts that get churned up by searching mostly suggest the /Users/ -> /S/V/D/Users change or bemoan the constant overwriting of /etc/auto_master by updates. Do I have to get an old Mac Mini to run macOS server on and join my laptop to an Open Directory server to make this work again (is that even an option now?). 😭

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