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Office 365 unusably slow (but functional) with NFS mounted homes (published bottle)
John Gow
John Gow
Posted 2019-03-27 15:24
Crossover version: 18.5.0
Distribution: stock openSuSE Leap 15.0
Application: Office 365; installer downloaded from MS
Bottle: published for all users.

Some interesting issues have come to light using Crossover in an environment where the /home tree is NFS , automounted at boot time. The /home tree (actually /nfshomes) is a kerberized NFS4 mount.

I have had Crossover installed for some years now in this environment, and my other Windows only applications (LTSpice, SkyDemon and EasyPC) all run flawlessly with Crossover without any noticeable degradation in speed.

Initially I could get Office 365 to install with some difficulty but once installed it did run and was functional, as much as I could test. However, it was unusably slow, with mouse clicks taking a number of seconds to respond and general UI responsiveness being in the order of several seconds. I assumed initially that this was potentially a Crossover issue as I have had Office 2007 working without any response time degradation. I then RPM'ed the bottle for install on another machine.

The published bottle RPM was successfully installed on a second machine with a conventional local /home filesystem, and on this machine Office365 was completely usable with no noticeable degradation of UI speed.

In thinking this may have been in some way related to the NFS home tree, I switched back to the first machine and logged in as a local user with a locally mounted /home. In this local user environment, Office365 (in the same published bottle) also ran with no UI speed degradation. This confirmed that the problem was related to the NFS mounted homes. I decided to experiment a little. While logged in as the NFS user with the NFS mounted home tree, I experimented with the contents of the .cxoffice directory.

Test 1: Move ~/.cxoffice/published_Microsoft_Office_365/drive_c to a local HDD partition and symlink it back to ~/.cxoffice/published_Microsoft_Office_365/drive_c. Result - no change, Office365 unusable.

Test 2:  Move the entire ~/.cxoffice/published_Microsoft_Office_365  directory to a local HDD partition and symlink it back to ~/.cxoffice/published_Microsoft_Office_365. Result - no change, Office365 unusable.

Test 3: Move the entire ~/.cxoffice directory to a local HDD partition and symlink it back to ~/.cxoffice. Result - this worked and Office365 became usable.

Test 4: Returning to the standard configuration with the entire ~/.cxoffice hierarchy, I installed another Windows application in the same bottle (Winrar). It runs with no speed degradation.

The conclusion is that there is some issue with Crossover installs and Office365 when the .cxoffice is on NFS . It only affects Office365 as other applications run normally.
As an aside I also noticed that it was problematic installing components such as the MS XML parser in bottles on the NFS filesystem - the installer either crashes or complains about lack of disk space. The same install works correctly when the user has its /home tree on a local disk.

A quick search didn't turn up any suggestions, and I could really do with getting Office365 running in the NFS environment.

Any thoughts?

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