[Samba] Poor performance with Mac OS X Panther clients

Nathan R. Valentine nathan at nathanvalentine.org
Fri May 14 18:57:05 GMT 2004

On Fri, 2004-05-14 at 14:22, ww m-pubsyssamba wrote:
> I would strongly suspect that the Mac OS finder is simply hammering the
> file server because, in your case, it as to do 10000 seperate read opertions
> just to display the folder contents. Try with an NFS share, this would
> identify whether the SMB support in either the client or server is
> ineffecient or if you just have unrealistic expectations of performance
> from this type of configuration.

We are confident that it is something goofy about the way the Finder
behaves when reading the content of the directory. Doing an 'ls' on the
share from the OS X command line is quite snappy. It's only when the
Finder does the reads on the directory for both the files and the
metadata that things slow down and we get the CPU spike. My counterpart
has been doing some research and, although I've not seen the material
that he is referencing, he has reported to me that Panther seems to have
a few known issues with performance when it comes to accessing NFS and
Samba exports/shares and he is hearing that the next version will
provide several fixes in this area. I'm not an OS X user so I will have
to trust him on this one. 

> If you are using an OS X server have you tried connected via Apple Talk
> instead? This has native support for resource fork data and may give
> better performance,

We are not using OS X as a server. The servers are all Windows 2000 or
Debian GNU/Linux stable + Samba. The client wants to completely
eliminate AppleTalk from the network based on his past experiences with
AppleTalk performance.

Thanks for your help everyone. For now, I think we are going to chalk
this one up to lots and lots of files in the shares and the somewhat
goofy way that the Finder handles directory listings.  

Nathan R. Valentine <nathan at nathanvalentine.org>
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