this is not specific to NFS.... This is just networking storage for you. Yep, its difficult to do, because: networking is hellishly complicated. NFS is not "bad" in that respect, it just does with what it has. CIFS shares are way more complicated to handle, it uses a lot of proprietary stuff which are completely obscure to comprehend, and it takes a lot more of CPU overhead as a result to use :)
"Recent files" is just a list of names. It does not mean the file is accessible. Its just exactly like your grocery store list: the fact that "milk" is written on a piece of paper does not mean you have milk in the fridge magically… And if you can't get out, you can't get milk. If the server is down you can't get files from there, that's just... I don't even know how to say that. If your NFS share is down, you can just force your computer to unmount NFS shared dirs so that your computer will stop to issue requests it can't handle: sudo umount -v -a -t nfs4 --force
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