Alex install failure

Ben Gamari ben at
Sat Aug 19 15:30:29 UTC 2017

Simon Peyton Jones <simonpj at> writes:

> | Hmm. Here's a shot in the dark: is home home directory mounted via NFS by
> | any chance?
> Direct hit!  (for the shot in the dark).  Yes it's NFS mounted I think.  So what?
Well, as others have pointed out NFS and locking tends to be a bit of a
can of worms. Some broken systems don't even run the locking daemon by
default; even when configured properly locking can still be problematic,
especially under contention (although I doubt this is the case in your

It's been quite a while since I have configured NFS, but IIRC one thing
to verify is that there is at least one lockd process and one portmapper
process running. I doubt this is problematic under Ubuntu in 2017, but
it's worth checking. It might also be a good idea to grab an strace log
of ghc-pkg to see what precisely is going on. Perhaps also check the
system log.

Regardless, we should try getting to the bottom of this; ghc-pkg failing
is quite bad, even if the system's locking configuration happens to be


- Ben

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