Fedora Core 6 – SATA & CIFS Problems

I’m having two problems with my FC6 install at work (I’m running a Dell OptiPlex GX270, ya know, a basic office machine). One of the issues is more of an annoyance, the other limits my capabilities and I’m bothered that it’s still a problem on this machine.

The lesser of the issues causes slow boot times. While the kernel is loading and before the GUI boot screen, Linux is probing my SATA ports and not finding any drives. That makes sense since there aren’t any SATA drives in this box. I found 2 posts about this issue on Red Hat’s bugzilla, ID 212581 & ID 212737, I see no confirmation of the problem, so who knows when there will be a fix. Its not really a show stopper as the scan times out, gives up, and eventually boots normally.

This issue is the bugger! CIFS mounts with roughly 100 or more files cannot be read. If you’re unfamiliar with CIFS, its the filesystem type used when mounting Samba/Windows shares. As I’m using this machine at work, this one makes me growl. I have up to 15 shares I need to mount from time to time in order to get my work done. Most of them have well over 100 files just in the root of the share. When attempting to navigate offending mounts with Nautilus, I receive an error that reads “The folder contents could not be displayed“. The error I receive when trying to list the contents of the folder via the command line reads “ls: reading directory .: Invalid argument”. This is a real problem for me as I’m responsible for a lot of documentation, I sort them by directory, I have thousands of folders/files (I’m anal about it and document everything) and I can’t access them through file system mounts.

There is a workaround, I can mount using Gnome VFS (Places > Connect to Server), and I can browse using Nautilus (smb://server/share). This isn’t ideal, I would prefer to have a genuine mount. Not all programs are Gnome VFS aware and I don’t see a way to direct Gnome to mount to an actual file system location. That means that if I create a file with an app that can’t utilize Gnome VFS, I need to save the file to my home dir and then copy it off to the VFS mount. If you know of a way to force VFS mounts use a genuine mount point, PLEASE let me know.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=212123 says that this problem has been fixed in CVS and an update will be released shortly. That was posted on October 28th and I still haven’t seen an update addressing the issue.

When Looking at this from a Linux newbie point of view (and I do know that Fedora isn’t a newbie focused distro) this is a real problem. There is no fix for the CIFS problem, well, not unless you want to compile your own kernel from CVS (and that’s nothing more than a drug store chain to many people new to Linux) and the potential fix listed for the SATA problem (mentioned in bug 212581) isn’t something a newb would/should be comfortable doing. If I was just giving Linux a shot and started out with Fedora I might be tempted to just say that Linux is broken and go back to Windows.

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3 Responses to “Fedora Core 6 – SATA & CIFS Problems”

  1. [...] This week the Fedora folks released A LOT of updates for Core 6. Among them was an updated kernel and thankfully, it addressed one of the problems I blogged about in this post. [...]

  2. [...] Well, they’ve finally done it! Fedora fixed the kernel problem that was simply driving me mad. Back in November, I posted about Fedora Core 6 – SATA & CIFS Problems which led to painfully slow boot times on my office OptiPlex system. [...]

  3. [...] Fedora fixed the kernel problem that was simply driving me mad. Back in November, I posted about Fedora Core 6 – SATA & CIFS Problems which led to painfully slow boot times on my office OptiPlex [...]

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