Ok, this is the path the variable takes:

/etc/default/nfs-kernel-server:
RPCSVCGSSDOPTS

nfs-utils_env.sh: generates the config file sourced by rpc-svcgssd.service:
"export RPCSVCGSSDARGS=$RPCSVCGSSDOPTS" and others into /run/sysconfig/nfs-utils

(note the switch from ...OPTS to ...ARGS)

rpc-svcgssd.service:
sources /run/sysconfig/nfs-utils and runs /usr/sbin/rpc.svcgssd $SVCGSSDARGS

The .service file comes from the upstream tarball, whereas nfs-
utils_env.sh comes from debian.

In bug #1614261 a patch was suggested that exports an additional variable:
--- /usr/lib/systemd/scripts/nfs-utils_env.sh   2017-06-08 22:08:18+01  1.1
+++ /usr/lib/systemd/scripts/nfs-utils_env.sh   2017-06-08 22:12:08+01
@@ -12,7 +12,7 @@
 echo RPCNFSDARGS=\"$RPCNFSDOPTS ${RPCNFSDCOUNT:-8}\"
 echo RPCMOUNTDARGS=\"$RPCMOUNTDOPTS\"
 echo STATDARGS=\"$STATDOPTS\"
-echo RPCSVCGSSDARGS=\"$RPCSVCGSSDOPTS\"
+echo SVCGSSDARGS=\"$RPCSVCGSSDOPTS\"
 } > /run/sysconfig/nfs-utils
 
 # the following are supported by the systemd units, but not exposed in default 
files

I believe that is the last intrusive change, and we don't have to worry
about updating config files that users might have changed.

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https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1616123

Title:
  rpc-svcgssd.service uses incorrrect variable SVCGSSDARGS

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