Man, I used to really like Debian a lot. Four boxes in my home running it. An intern had recommended it once to me back in the early 2000s. I have an NFS server running on the i386 architecture, lots of disks, all was fine. In the living room, I had a passively-cooled "hush" workstation, also running Debian, lenny at the time. xine, vdr, streaming vdr content to the living room, mplayer, it was our web kiosk using Firefox and Thunderbird as our e-mail client. The CLE266 on board was good enough to decode DVDs and DVB-T broadcasts.
Then, on a bad day, the board of the PC in the living room died. Bought a new one: deltatronic flat, Core i5, cool stuff. Again passively cooled. Tried to install Debian 6.0.5 amd64. First failed because the BIOS's default configuration shows the SATA DVD drive as IDE, not using AHCI. Had to google, reconfigure in the BIOS. Finally, the installer ran. Got a reasonable base config of Debian running. Added my usual nfs mounts to /etc/fstab. But then the trouble started.
I love my good old PS/2 Cherry remote desktop combo (mouse, keyboard). I bought a 2-PS/2-to-1-PS/2 adapter as well as a 2-PS/2-to-USB adapter. I always have been a KDE3 fan, using kde-trinity on most of my machines because KDE4 doesn't go through vnc. So, first thing on the new machine: I installed kde-trinity, making kdm-trinity the default display manager. Starting for the first time, the mouse was not recognized. Duh... Fetched my old xorg.conf, but to no avail. Messed with intel vs. vesa drivers for xorg.
But then the real f@#$#@^%-up started. Each time I launched kdm, my nfs mounts went astray and weren't accessible anymore (giving the usual, completely useless forever-blocking behavior). umount doesn't work then on those mounts anymore. The only help seems a reboot, but a "reboot -n" doesn't work either because not even the shutdown procedure stops the NFS mounts. Hard reset. Reboot. NFS mounts not recognized from /etc/network/if-up.d script because the hostname of my NFS server isn't recognized. Man, has anyone ever tried this yet? Are you all punching in your NFS server's IP address in /etc/fstab? Hard to believe.
Ok, so maybe kde-trinity is the culprit. apt-cache remove, then apt-cache install gnome gdm3. Off we go. After the install completed, /etc/init.d/gdm3 start. Guess what: all NFS mounts stalled again.
What's this druidic relationship between my NFS mounts dying and a graphical user interface starting? I don't get it.
Anyway, this seems too complicated to expect any near-term assistance, I guess. Is Ubtuntu my solution? Is NFS so fundamentally broken? What is anyone else using as a reliable remote file system? Samba? Hopefully not. I'm really close to giving up my long-standing Linux affiliation at this point. Any thoughts?