Fixed: OpLocks caused the corruptions/slowness (Was: How Samb a let us down)

Green, Paul Paul.Green at
Tue Oct 29 12:52:00 GMT 2002

Jay Ts [mailto:jay at] said: [excerpt]
> I know this is a tough issue, and I'm not sure what I'd
> do if I were "in the driver's seat".  Perhaps as a
> minimum, adding some documentation to the /docs directory,
> as Chris suggests, and also putting lines in the example
> smb.conf files showing how to turn off oplocks, and why.
> Or maybe the example smb.conf files should turn them off,
> with a comment explaining that the lines can be removed if
> the Samba server isn't serving database files, and has good
> network hardware, etc.

Jay, your thoughts on how to fix the oplock-related corruption problem has
reminded me of a long-held belief that I hold regarding the process of
maintaining open-source software. The following (semi) rant is not directed
at you personally, but at the Samba community. This is my personal view, not
necessarily shared by anyone else on the team. (Well, I hope others share
it, but I'll leave it to them to say so).

My opinion is that the "right fix" is for anyone who is experiencing data
corruption of any sort, whether with oplocks on, off, or sideways, to work
with the Samba team to come up with a reproducible test case so that we can
root cause the true source of the problem.  Then, we can design and test
some sort of fix, and no one else will ever have to worry about it.
Anything less than this is guesswork.  We *might* be able to think of an
effective fix with the slim information we have now. We *absolutely* should
be able to get a great fix with full cooperation.

I'll go further and say that if you are using open-source/free software and
not willing to perform this task, then you should not bother to report
problems at all, but should simply stop using the software.  Yes, this is an
extreme position.  But the ONLY way we can make Samba or any other
open-source package better is with the full cooperation of the user
community.  Yes, I know we are asking you to spend precious time and
resources on a task that benefits others more than it benefits you.  But
isn't this the nature of the entire open-source movement?  Aren't you
getting something of extremely high value for a rock-bottom price when it
all works?  Isn't that worth something to you?  Go read Eric Raymond's essay
on The Cathedral and The Bazaar; it may help give you some perspective on
this movement. (

Paul Green, Senior Technical Consultant, Stratus Computer, Inc.
Voice: +1 978-461-7557; FAX: +1 978-461-3610; Video on request.
Speaking from Stratus not for Stratus

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