[OpenAFS] OpenAFS for Windows and the MS loopback adapter

Christopher D. Clausen cclausen@acm.org
Fri, 25 Aug 2006 16:36:11 -0500

Jay Stamps <jstamps@stanford.edu> wrote:
> Howdy:
> A couple of observations that one may interpret as questions...
> 1) Installing the MS LBA is a tricky business, granted. But every
> time I've run the installer for OpenAFS for Windows 1.4.0 or 1.4.1 (I
> haven't tested 1.4.2, but see next paragraph) on an XP or 2003
> system, when the LBA is installed there's a long delay, eventually a
> message appears stating that the installer is "Calling ExecMethod" w/
> a 20-second countdown, and after 20 seconds a miracle seems to occur:
> The adapter is installed and configured.
> Testing OpenAFS 1.5.6 (haven't tried 1.5.7), I see that the LBA
> appears to languish for some time while "acquiring network address"
> before the installer prompts for a reboot. ("Acquiring network
> address" is in fact the point at which the delay occurs for all the
> installers I've tested.)

This is only an issue during install.  Its just a few seconds.  Deal 
with it.

It happens on the 1.4.X clients as well.

> I'm curious as to why the LBA's installation and configuration take
> so long, or at any rate am interested to know whether others have
> observed this behavior, or have found a better way.

I believe these delays were specifically added to ensure that the LBA 
could be configured.  On slower machines it takes awhile and immediately 
attempting to configure results in errors or worse yet, a half 
configured adapter.

> 2) Why does the OpenAFS installer (even for 1.5.6) create an entry in
> %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts? Some anti-spyware tools,
> which pay attention to the hosts file given its frequent use by
> hijackers, react by throwing an "unable to resolve IP" error b/c the
> LBA has a 10/8 address. Other anti-spyware software (I'm told)
> behaves even more aggressively. I suspect this AFS hosts file entry
> is no longer really necessary, but that's only a hunch. What
> documentation (random postings, really) I've been able to dig up
> suggests that maybe it once was needed; but is it needed still?
> Anyone have any experience in this area?

In order for \\AFS\<cell> UNC paths to work, the "AFS" server must be 
listed in the hosts file.  If you remove this, it breaks and you'll need 
to use \\\<cell> paths, which I imagine wouldn't make 
sense for the users.

If you think it can be removed, try it and see.  I suspect you'll 
quickly put it back in.  (You might need to reboot for changes to take 

Christopher D. Clausen