[Samba] Re: How Samba let us down

Jay Ts jay at jayts.cx
Wed Oct 23 19:16:09 GMT 2002

John H Terpstra wrote:
> For the record, I thouroughly test samba pre-releases before we ever ship.
> To the best of my knowledge, NOT ONE version of samba we have released
> ever CAUSED (or resulted in) file/data corruption. If I sound defensive -
> that's is exactly correct because file corruption is a DEATH issue!

Ok, first of all, check my wording carefully:

> > I've seen problems in the early 2.2.x releases (when transferring
> > large files) that could be perceived as (or called) "file corruption",
> > but the problem went away sometime before 2.2.4.

The key words are "perceived" and "called". The idea there was that
the guy who was having problems was referring to data corruption,
while not saying _exactly_ what the problems were. Maybe there can
be things that some people would call "data corruption" that actually
don't result in loss of data.

My own experience was that when working with early 2.2.x releases,
(I think it was 2.2.2 or earlier).  Every once in a while there would
be an error while copying large files over the network.  This happened
maybe 5 times within a period of some months. It happened a couple
of times while I was copying CD-ROM (iso9660) images from Windows
98 to Linux/Samba, and about 4 times while installing an application
which had it's install CD residing on a Samba share.  (I got tired
of searching for installation CDs every time I reinstalled Windows,
so threw them on the server's hard disk.)

In each case, I "fixed" the problem simply by redoing the operation,
and it succeeded on the next try.  And the problems haven't happened
since upgrading to 2.2.3, IIRC.  I haven't seen any problems at
all in a long time.

BTW, I remember reading messages on the samba list from other
users who were reporting similar problems around the same time.

> I can make NO assertions regarding the integrity of smbfs as I
> regard this as most undesirable technology.

Wow, this is news to me.  Why?  And do your comments also apply
to Steve French's Linux CIFS filesystem?

My experience here is that smbfs isn't perfect, but works pretty
well, and I *really* like it!  Without smbfs, I end up having to
run to the Windows system to transfer files. (Sorry, but smbclient
just doesn't "do it" for me. It works, but is really inconvenient.)

> Every reported case of file corruption I have looked at has been due to:
> 	1. Bad or defective or low grade ethernet cards

I'm using 3com 3c905's on the systems in question, along with ...

> 	2. Defective HUBs / Ether-Switches

Netgear FS-105 5-port fast ethernet switch.

> 	3. Defective Hardware on the Server

No problems outside of those I described. IIRC, the two systems
were Athlon/1GHz and Pentium/200, with ASUS A7V and Intel motherboards.

> 	4. Incorrect Protocol Stack configuration on the MS Windows client

I just set up the Windows system as usual, with IP address, workgroup,
computer name, WINS and DNS servers, etc.  But, being Windows 98,
the installation that was on the system might well have been corrupted
somehow!  That would not be unusual, after all.

Jay Ts

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