[OpenAFS] Oddity with OpenAFS 1.6.0 on MacOS 10.6.8 +

Garance A Drosihn drosih@rpi.edu
Sun, 23 Oct 2011 21:33:24 -0400

I thought I'd write up a minor oddity that I noticed recently.  I
don't know if it's significant, or just a random thing which only
popped up on my system.

I installed OpenAFS-1.6.0-Snowleopard on my MacOS 10.6.8 system
back on September 2nd.  The system is a 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon
with 12-GB of RAM.  Everything seemed fine.

I kept running (without needing a reboot) until October 14th.  At
that point I rebooted to install a variety of MacOS updates.  This
included Safari 5.1.1, MacOS X 10.6.8 Supplemental update, and
Security Update 2011-006 (all of which require a reboot).  As long
as I was going to reboot anyway, I installed updates for a few other
things.  Probably the only thing of interest there was installing a
new version of LittleSnitch and Xcode 4.2 with iOS 5 SDK.

Shortly after the reboot, I noticed the CPU's were busy even when I
wasn't doing anything.  I checked into that, and found my old friend
'mds' (MetaData Server for Spotlight) was chewing up the CPU.  I did
not think too much of this, given that I had just replaced several
gigabytes of files (due to Xcode alone, never mind everything else!).

I have LittleSnitch running to track outgoing connections, and a few
days later I finally noticed that the 'mds' process was constantly
doing some I/O to our AFS fileservers.  I'm pretty much certain that
it hadn't been doing that before the reboot.  I dug up an old article
which suggested that the way to get 'mds' to ignore /afs was to do:

    sudo mdutil -i off -v /afs

I did that, and the I/O from 'mds' to our afs servers stopped.  I
now notice that there's still a small but steady stream of I/O to
our file servers, and based on tcpdump I think those are all
afs3-callbacks.  I'm going to reboot now, and hopefully those will
stop and things will be back to normal.

So the questions after all that are:  What generally prevents 'mds'
from trying to index all of AFS space?  And has anyone else noticed
a change to that behavior on MacOS 10.6?

One more item which might be significant:  Apple's new "Mac App Store"
uses spotlight to find where applications have been installed.  I do
remember that sometime in the last few weeks I noticed that the MAS
was confused about whether it had installed two applications which I
had bought from the store.  In the process of clearing that up, I'm
pretty sure I was playing around with turning indexing off-and-on
for the filesystem partition which is '/' (done because the apps were
under /Applications).  Perhaps it was my fiddling with that which
effectively turned on 'mds' for the /afs directory?

Garance Alistair Drosehn                =     drosih@rpi.edu
Senior Systems Programmer               or   gad@FreeBSD.org
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;             Troy, NY;  USA