Performance Tuning advice

Jim Morris Jim at
Fri Nov 13 21:44:25 GMT 1998

Hi all!

I've been an avid Samba (and Linux) devotee for years now, and am very
familiar with its operation. I am having a fit right now trying to
optimize performance of a new network server I am setting up for a
customer - I have to deliver it on Monday.

Basically, what I am finding right now is that performance for READ
operations on the Samba server (1.9.18p10) is running at about 60% of
the speed of a Win95 share, with the same ethernet controller on both
the Win95 "server" (funny to think of, eh!), and the new RedHat 5.2
Linux server, running Samba 1.9.18p10.

The kind of times I am seeing are like this:

TEST Operation:

 "xcopy /s" of directory tree of 458MB in 4400 files, and 650

Client machine:

 Winbook XL (P200mmx), running Win95 OSR2.5, LinkSys Combo PCMCIA

Network connections:

 All 10BaseT, on a single 5-port hub.

           Server             |   Read   |   Write  
                              | (mm:ss)  |  (mm:ss)
1. Dual PII-400               |  18:44   |  12:39
   DEC "Tulip" ethernet card  |          |
   Linux 2.0.36 (Redhat 5.2)  |407KB/sec | 603KB/sec
   Samba 1.9.18p10 (RPM)      |          |
   Ultra2 SCSI drive subsystem|          |
   (Mylex DAC960 RAID cont, & |          |
   Seagate Cheetah 10,000 RPM |          |
   drives).                    |          |
2. Cyrix 6x86-P166+           |  11:46   |  13:14
   DEC "Tulip" ethernet card  |          |
   Win95 OSR2                 |648KB/sec | 576KB/sec
   EIDE (16.6MB/sec) drives   |          |
   IBM Deskstar 5400RPM EIDE  |          |
3. SAME machine as #2, but    |          |   Not
   running Linux 2.0.35, and  |384KB/sec | Measured
   Samba 1.9.18p7.            |          | 
                              |          |

So the question comes, why am I seeing such low results with Samba?  I
fully expect Win95 to possible be a LITTLE higher when nothing is being
done on the PC, since it is essentially a "single minded" OS so to
speak.  I know these numbers will fall down under a loaded situation.
Regardless though, I would like to HOPE that a Dual PII-400 with 256MB
of RAM and the most expensive SCSI drives money can buy can outperform
my puny little 6x86-166 running Win95....  Also, the 6x86 box has about
1/2 the performance it does under Win95 when running Samba...

The "tuning" related (once I think *might* impact performance)
parameters in my smb.conf currently are:

debug level = 1

dos filetimes = true
default case = lower
mangle case = no
case sensitive = no
preserve case = yes
short preserve case = yes

read prediction = yes
; keep alive = 30
dead time = 15

locking = yes
strict locking = no
oplocks = true
share modes = yes
lock directory = /var/lock/samba

Thats all the tuning related parameters I see in there.

I sure hope someone on the list can offer me some advice!

I tried to get the  Samba book (Samba: Integrating Unix and Windows) in
before I had to set this setver up.  I've had it on order from Computer
Literacy for several weeks, and they still are out of stock on it -
apparently SSC is in between printings or something.

Thanks for ANY help!
| Jim Morris  | Business:  jmorris at |
|             | Personal:  Jim at        |
|    World Wide Web:      |

More information about the samba mailing list