Eureka! Slow Samba transfers resolved!

Jean-Marie White jmwhite at
Sun Jan 19 18:06:59 GMT 2003

I just spent so much time troubleshooting why *some types* of samba 
transfers were slow that I thought I would  share how I resolved the 

This problem had been going on for ever.  As far as I could tell, it was 
only happening with winamp (MP3 player).  All my MP3s reside on my Linux 
box and I was trying to access them from my PC running Windows 2000. 
 What was throwing me for a loop was that Windows Media player seemed to 
be more successful at playing them !  What would happen is that Winamp 
would freeze and nothing would happen.  I had then decided to just copy 
my MP3s back to my PC.

Then, last night I started using FrontPage for some reason or another, 
and when I tried to publish my web site to my Linux box, then behavior I 
had observed with my MP3s started plaguing FrontPage as well.

I went through all the troubleshooting guides, learned about every samba 
configuration options:  I was able to successfully transfer a 100M file 
in either direction (linux->pc or pc->linux) using the File Explorer 
without any problem.  But I just couldn't for the life of me understand 
why winamp and FrontPage were having problems.

Then I decided to use ethereal and try and understand what was actually 
happening on the wire.  I realized that when winamp or FrontPage were 
trying to transfer files, Linux was ending up retransmitting the same 
frame over and over without ever receiving a TCP acknowledgment for it. 
 Then the PC would eventually tear down the session and re-establish the 
session and restart the transfer. An article that I read 
( was 
talking about how Windows could mysteriously drop packets, and I started 
thinking that maybe packets were being lost due to some hardware problem.

So I looked at my PC network card configuration (Linksys LNE 100TX Fast 
Ethernet) and saw that the "Connection Type" was set to auto-detect.   
(My PC is connected to my Linux box through a Linksys 8-port Workgroup 
Switch - Ehterfast 10/100)  So I thought, maybe having to ends that 
"auto-detect" each others speed is not good.  So I changed my 
"Connection Type" to 100 TX Full Duplex and VOILA!  All my problems 
solved, winamp is happily playing away and FrontPage can publish my 
whole web site in seconds.

I hope this will help.

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