SAMBA4 on the Raspberry Pi

Bob Miller bob at
Thu Oct 25 13:20:35 MDT 2012

Perhaps this topic has some fortuitous timing for me.  Over the last
week I have put half an effort into looking for some kind of hardware
guidelines for samba.  Many of my clients have noticed a large increase
in the average file size they work with, and some clients are now not
only using files that may be in excess of 1 GB regularly, but might
require 5 or 10 people in the office to be accessing files of that size
while the rest of the office still accesses their spreadsheets and

I understand that variables are numerous and there is no one answer for
everyone, but with many other server types one can estimate how much
machine he needs based on the expected workload.  For example, in the
asterisk book, they say a call will use x amount of CPU cycles and y
amount of RAM, so you can calculate how much machine you need based on
the expected maximum number of concurrent calls.  Likewise, after you
have played with mail servers for a while, you can start to guess things
like you need 1 GB of RAM for every 100 addresses you expect to host (a
guideline that works well for me).  So what I was looking for with
regard to Samba is how much CPU/RAM does one need to serve, for example,
a 1 GB file to one user?  what about serving the same file to 2 users,
or to 10?  and how does that compare to how much CPU/RAM you need to
serve 100 MB files to 1, 2, or 10 users?  If such information exists, I
haven't found it yet...

For smaller organizations, I have always been in the habit of using
retired workstations as samba servers, and so far have never had a
machine be underpowered.  But I start to worry that as the overall data
storage and file size are increasing so rapidly, it may no longer be
sufficient to just slap a big sata drive in the oldest workstation in
the closet and call it a file server.  

I would be very interested to hear any comments as to how one should
predict if a machine will be sufficient for an organizations needs...

Bob Miller      
867-334-7117 / 867-633-3760

On Thu, 2012-10-25 at 12:57 -0500, Ricky Nance wrote:
> Steve, that is a very generic question, and the best answer I can give is
> that networks are like people, all are unique even though they share many
> of the same characteristics. The question can't be answered like this, you
> have given us far too little information. On the 5 user network, are they
> doing a lot of video editing, or just a text document here an there, and
> why are you running AD at home? How many pc's do you have? Is there a
> budget? On the 2000 user network, the same questions, along with, are other
> devices querying the AD server to provide authentication? Are there a lot
> of laptops that frequently leave the network? What does the backbone of the
> network look like? Everything inside of each network factors into deciding
> the right hardware to choose for a server. There are cases where a flash
> drive is just as efficient as a network share. It really depends on what
> the client is needing (or end users if you are the admin).
> Ricky
> On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 7:55 AM, steve <steve at> wrote:
> > On 25/10/12 08:28, Jan B Kinander wrote:
> >
> >> If you have ordered your Raspberry Pi recently you'll get the 512M
> >> version,
> >> that one should work much better then the 256M version, cause the memory
> >> is
> >> a bottleneck in mine. Don't run X11 on it if you can avoid it,
> >>
> >
> > Hi Jan, hi everyone
> >
> > I asked about the hardware requirements to run a Samba 4.0 DC a while ago.
> > Geza came the closest by suggesting anything that can survive a build of
> > the source. After that, there's nothing much a DC has to do and so we end
> > up with wasting a good computer.
> >
> > Do we have any hardware recommendations e.g. what configuration would be
> > best for:
> >
> > - a home domain with 5 users
> > - a school with 2000 students
> >
> > Add to that questions of security. Where do we house our DC's? Where do we
> > store our file servers? I'm talking grass roots user level here. Like, 'I
> > store my DC's in a room with a lock and key', or, 'I don't care, no one has
> > the root password so I sleep easy'.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Steve.
> >
> >
> --

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