Performance (?) problem with Samba and NT

Stephen L Arnold arnold.steve at
Mon May 10 20:33:26 GMT 1999

When the world was young, "Hall, Ken (ECCS)" 
<KeHall at> carved some runes like this:  

> I have a network with several Win95 and 98 client machines and one NT4
> machine (NT Workstation, not Server).  It's currently using Novell, but
> I've been testing a Samba server as a replacement.  The 95 and 98 clients
> work fine.  When I browse the network, the server appears, I can open it,
> look at the shares, etc.  Everything is quick and correct.  Even printing
> works fine.
> On the NT machine, however, it takes up to a minute to open the Samba
> Server in Network Neighborhood.  It takes up to another minute to open any
> of the shares.  If I run "NET USE" from a command-line window, it takes
> the same amount of time to complete.  Once the share is mapped to a drive,
> it works fine for a while, but after a time, you can't open "My Computer"
> without another long wait, and can't access the mapped drives without
> another long wait.
> This is Samba 2.0.3 on RedHat 5.2, but I'm having a similar problem on a
> test box running 5.1 and an older version of Samba.  The NT system was at
> SP3, and is now at SP4.  The upgrade had no effect on the operation.
> Defining a WINS server on the NT system had no effect, other than to make
> the "Workstation" service fail to start most of the time.  I'm using
> SECURITY=USER, and everything else seems to be working fine.

You could try having the NT box use an lmhosts file instead of 
WINS; I use the #PRE option for the samba server.  It might also be 
related to the specific services running under NT (they won't let 
me near an NT admin account, 'cause I'm a linux dude :)

We have a similar setup here (mostly win95, 1 win98, 1 NT4SP3 
workstation, 1 linux/samba box) but NT seems to access the samba 
shares just as fast as the win95 clients (even faster on the linux 
/usr/doc tree, but the NT box is our fastest machine - PII-450).  
We don't use WINS, we have no PDC, and only a simple LAN with no 
subnets.  I have samba running as the master browser, with most of 
the win clients disabled (as far as browse master competition).  
All machines use lmhosts for NetBIOS names, and hosts for internal 
DNS names.  The samba box is a lowly 486 with 32 megs RAM, but 
performance is fine (it also runs apache, MySQL, VNC sessions, etc).

Even with all the system updates, win95 still can't Net View the NT 
box (but it works with samba):

C:\WINDOWS>net view \\rama
Shared resources at \\RAMA

Sharename    Type         Comment
arnold       Disk         Your Home Directory
docs         Disk         Linux docs
public       Disk         HTML Document Tree
smb          Print        lp
smbps        Print        lp0
source       Disk         Source Code
tmp          Disk         Temporary file space
The command was completed successfully.

C:\WINDOWS>net view \\mothra

Error 234: Additional data is available.

Obviously, the M$ networking stuff is hosed from one platform or 
service pack to another (or, How do you say in your country... It's 
completely FUBAR'd).

If you really want to alleviate these headaches, I think the only 
option is to bail NT and get linux on those clients.  The 
development tools are much better, and there are numerous open 
source packages (depending on your requirements) that can fill most 

Never miss a chance to evangelize...


Stephen L Arnold            
#include <std_disclaimer.h>

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