Samba Performance

Mike Brodbelt m.brodbelt at
Thu Apr 22 11:07:42 GMT 1999


I apologize if this is a little off-topic for the NTDOM list, but I was
hoping the network experience around here could help me out....

I have an aging Novell server, which I am currently using as the main
fileserver for my network. I plan to replace this server with a SAMBA
server, but I'm having real problems with performance in a few areas.
I'm not convinced that the performance problems are Samba related, but
I'm hoping someone on this list can give me some pointers.

My network is a horrible collection of coax segments, so all performance
will be relatively bad, but here are the results of a few tests I've
conducted. All tests use the same file, which was 7093877 bytes in size.

======         ======        =========    ======
  A (Linux)      B (Linux)    144 kb/s    FTP (CLI ftp client)
  A (Linux)      B (Linux)    169 kb/s    SMB (smbclient)
  A (Linux)	 C (NTWS)      69 kb/s	  SMB (NT Explorer)
  D (Netware)	 C (NTWS)     692 kb/s    NCP (NT Explorer)
  E (NTSRV)      C (NTWS)     157 kb/s    SMB (NT Explorer)

All the results above involve copying a file from server to client -
Samba is noticeably faster on the write (but still slow). Using box B as
a Samba server shows a similar result, so it's definitely not only a
problem with box A.

Something is really wrong here - the Netware server is using IPX, and I
can accept that there will be speed differences, but this is a 10Mb LAN,
albeit a poor quality one at the moment. Transfer seems to fall into 3
categories - The Netware server performs at the kind of rate I'd expect
for the network, using about 6 Mbps of bandwidth, which, on a 10base2
network like this one is acceptable. SMB transfers seem to only manage
about 1.3 -1.5 Mbps, which is terrible, and the test from a NTWS client
to the Linux server, which is the one I really care about, it absolutely
dire at approx 0.6 Mbps. I can't belive that SMB over TCP/IP is *that*
much slower than NCP over IPX. Oh, and to add insult to injury, the
Netware box is the lowest specified, in terms of hardware (p100, 64Mb,
scsi disk), whereas the linux box (A) is a p2-350 with 256Mb RAM, and a
HW RAID array.

I'd be most grateful if some kind soul could enlighten me as to what the
hell is going on, and give me some ideas as to what I might be able to
do to increase performance, or possibly even to a more appropriate forum
for asking these questions. I'm appending most of my smb.conf to this



# Samba config file created using SWAT
  # from localhost (
  # Date: 1999/04/22 12:02:29

  # Global parameters
          workgroup = MILKY-WAY
          server string = Castor Samba Server
          security = DOMAIN
          encrypt passwords = Yes
          password server = betelgeuse
          username map = /etc/
          log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
          max log size = 50
          socket options = TCP_NODELAY
          dns proxy = No
          hosts allow = 192.168.1. 127.

          comment = WWW documents
          path = /usr/local/apache/htdocs
          valid users = @www
          force group = www
          read only = No
          create mask = 0644

          comment = User Home directories
          path = /home/%u/shared
          read only = No

          comment = Software Install trees
          path = /usr/local/filestore/software
          valid users = @everyone
          read only = No
          create mask = 0774

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