spawning smb processes out of control

Hans-Peter Bernhard h.p.bernhard at
Fri Dec 7 10:54:33 GMT 2001

I had nearly the same problem, on a linux system maybe it is not
a great help but I upgraded my linux system from suse 7.2 to suse 7.3
and I never saw this behaviour again.
I assume, as I patched the lpd (the week before) I had to install 
newer clibs maybe something went wrong.....
It is not a nice solution, but I am serving about 200 workstations and
800 users and I never saw it again.


Alfredo Ramos schrieb:
> Please help. I have a weird problem with samba 2.2.1a.
> For the most part, Samba behaves just wonderfully. I'd say, 99.9% of the
> time it chugs along serving applications, sharing files and printers like
> a champ. But at least once a week, and some weeks, three or four times,
> the samba server starts spawning smbd processes like there's no tomorrow
> until it runs out of resources. At that point, users services come to a
> complete halt. Nobody is able to login, print, or do anything else. The
> load on the server becomes extremely high, and the only way to recover is
> by killing all the smbd processes that were spawned by the server. The
> number of processes spawned goes way past the 500 mark. If you're lucky
> and the server responds, you can kill the processes and everything goes
> back to normal. If the server is beyond recovery, only a reboot will get
> the server back.
> The server is a dedicated Sun Enterprise 220R with truckloads of memory,
> running Solaris 8. The weird part is that, the out-of-control spawning can
> happen when there's only a handful (8 or 10) of users, or when the labs
> are packed, sometimes during the day, at other times at wee hours of the
> night.
> The logs don't show information that I could relate the this problem. I've
> set the debug level to 3 or 4, and the only thing that I was able to spot
> was a problem with the oplocks. Something to the effect that the server
> was waiting for an oplock to be released, and then receiving a
> notification without expecting it, also about oplocks, (sorry, I do not
> have the log output anymore. I think I can get it again though).
> Anyway; thinking that this was the cause of the problem, I disabled the
> oplocks parameter on the smb.conf file, but it did not make a difference.
> If anybody has experienced the same problem, or knows what is causing it,
> I would really, I mean REALLY, appreciate pointing me in the right
> direction to correct it.
> Thanks;
> Al Ramos.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                                            | Alfredo Ramos
> This space available for rent.             | Educational Technology
> Get your product moving. Advertise here!   | Rice University.
>                                            | Email: ralf at
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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