Intermittent file corruption problems with cifs driver?

Steve French smfrench at
Mon Sep 12 06:27:36 MDT 2011

On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 3:36 AM, sean finney <seanius at> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Recently at $customer I've been tasked into looking into a problem they
> are intermittently having with corrupt file transfers from linux servers
> to a windows share.
> Little info on the servers:
>        Ubuntu Lucid 10.04
>        Stock and up to date Linux 2.6.32-33-server distro package
>        Stock cifs-utils 4.5-2 packages
> Description of behavior:
>        The servers are all part of a distributed service where each server
>        regularly uploads 100-200MB zipfiles to the windows share.
>  Intermittently
>        the resulting files will be corrupted.  On the client that performs
>        the upload, the corrupted file will appear to have the correct
> checksum,
>        but any other remote client will see it as corrupted.
>        The problem used to be much more frequent, and mounting with -o
> directio
>        seems to have greatly reduced, but not eliminated, the recurrence of
> the
>        corruption.  But recently (perhaps due to higher reates of
> uploads?),
>        the problem has started recurring.  It doesn't seem uniformly
> occuring,
>        but rather in spurts where a couple files will be corrupted in one
> day,
>        and then a week will go by with no corruptions.
>        I do see occasional errors in the kernel logs, though I'm not sure
> if
>        they are relevant or not (note that they're at substantially
> different
>        times, and at present I have no way to correlate them with
> corruption,
>        though I'm working on that):
>        [170873.721023]  CIFS VFS: Error -104 sending data on socket to
> server
>        [170873.728747]  CIFS VFS: Error -32 sending data on socket to
> server
>        [515039.940104]  CIFS VFS: No response to cmd 115 mid 32714
>        [515039.947933]  CIFS VFS: Send error in SessSetup = -11
>        [521901.595381]  CIFS VFS: No response to cmd 46 mid 37426
>        [521901.603422]  CIFS VFS: Send error in read = -11
>        [2097744.571138]  CIFS VFS: No response for cmd 50 mid 48502
>        [2097849.771138]  CIFS VFS: No response for cmd 114 mid 48519

With log entries like the above, the probability of having a file fail to
is high (although I would expect it more with command 47 (SMB WriteAndX,
but presumably if you get an error reading (command 46) you will
also have the copy fail - depending on how the application handles
such errors).

The reconnection/retry behavior is much better in more current cifs,
especially when servers are sometimes very slow (as we saw
in clustered servers during occassional operations when cluster
overhead could cause > 15 second delays).   If the server
is taking greater than 15 seconds or so from time to time
(or as we see here with rc 104, if the server
or network randomly drops the connection), I would expect
big improvements in 2.6.39 or later (or equivalent
backport as some of the distros have done).

Disabling unix extensions (mount option "nounix") is
only going to make a difference to Samba and similar servers,
but I would not expect it to have an effect on this problem.
mounting "forcedirectio" could have an effect though as it
1) changes i/o sizes to more closely match the application
(since the cache is not being used)
2) allows the application to get errors on writes more
quickly (since some applications forget to check errors
on fsync or close, and expect write errors on the actual write)

> Reading through the archives along with the rest of teh internetz I've
> found
> very little info.  Someone posted here back in february about a similar
> sounding problem, though I do not see the wsize-len blocks of NULL bytes in
> the resulting files like they did.
> I've written a small python script that right now is running on a pair of
> these servers, which with a couple dozen threads is uploading similarly
> sized
> files of arbitrary data, and comparing the upload results of each other.
> after a few hours I haven't seen it yet, but will keep it runnign for
> a couple days to see if it shows up.
> I've also found a couple suggestions out there to "disable linux
> extensions" and "disable oplocks" when searching on the above kernel error
> messages, but am hesitant to try them unless there's a strong indication
> that they will help, and i'm not entirely sure if/whether they will.
> does this ring a bell with anyone?  at this point i can't just do a
> blanket "try the latest" upgrade of these servers because they're part
> of a production application, at least without any further indication that
> there was a fix for this problem between the current and latest versions.
> If I can repro the problem, however, and can then take it to a non-prod
> machine, then I might have a bit more flexibility, but in the meantime
> thought I'd field the question here on the off chance...
> thanks!
>        sean
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