[CentOS] systemd and 'Stale file handle' errors?

Thu May 13 14:15:15 UTC 2021
James Pearson <james-p at moving-picture.com>

I have a CentOS 7 system where I needed to restart chronyd - but the systemctl restart failed with the error:

 systemd[1]: Starting NTP client/server...
 systemd[43578]: Failed at step NAMESPACE spawning /usr/sbin/chronyd: Stale file handle
 systemd[1]: chronyd.service: control process exited, code=exited status=226

Turns out there are a couple of Stale NFS file handles from fuse mounts (related to gvfsd) of sub directories under an NFS mounted home directory server - but the home directory for the user in this case, no longer exist (user has left)

However, I have no idea why these 'Stale file handles' prevent a service being started by systemd ?

In this case, chronyd has nothing to do with NFS mounted user home directories - so shouldn't really care ?

I have tried everything I can think of to clear these stale mounts, but with no luck

Does anyone know why systemd complains about unconnected 'Stale file handles' - and is there any way I can tell systemctl to start a service regardless of these 'errors' ?

Rebooting the host will be a last resort (the system is used by many users) - but in the meantime, I've manually started the /usr/sbin/chronyd binary directly, which runs fine


James Pearson