[Samba] Windows share "bridge"

Sebastian Schaetz "sebastian.schaetz.stud." at fh-regensburg.de
Wed Feb 16 14:27:59 GMT 2005


I'm currently working on something quite ugly. We have a WindowsXP Home 
system here that is used as a storage server. Windows XP Home restricts 
the maximal user count to 5 users at a time that can connect to the 
network share. My boss doesn't want to delete winblows because he feels 
confident with it (except from the limitation) so a native samba server 
isn't possible. A dualboot is also not possible (been there) because 
write access for NTFS is very badly supported as we all know (tried 
captive; worked but has problems with large files and is very very slow).
So I thought about it and an idea came to my mind: a samba "bridge" - a 
seperate machine that connects to the windows xp home machine, mounts 
the shares and serves them itself to the rest of the network. I made a 
little picture...

--------------------            -----------------------                 
|                  |            |                     |                 
|           |
|   WinXP Home     |            | Gentoo Samba server |                 
|  random   |
|  (5 User max)    |            |                     |                 
|  client   |
|                  |            |                     |   -----------   
|           |
|  network share   |            |                 NIC-|---| Network 
|---|-NIC       |
|                  |    cross   |                     |   -----------   
|           |
|              NIC-|------------|-NIC                 |                 
|           |
|                  |   connect  |                     |                 
|           |
--------------------            -----------------------                 

I think the idea is kinda neat because we don't have to change anything 
on the windows side so my boss will be fine. I set the machine up - 
everything went very smoothly. It works actually quite fine right now. 
The only thing that bothers me is that it's very slow. Of course I 
suspected it would be not as fast as without the "bridge" but:

Data transfer without bridge: ~68Mbit/s
Data transfer with bridge: ~23Mbit/s
Data transfer with bridge not using samba but ftp to serve the share: 
Data transfer was unchanged when applying some samba tweaks suggested by 
this book: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/samba/chapter/book/appb.pdf. 
Though I guess it's somewhat outdated.
The NICs are 100Mbit cards.

I definetly want to get that faster. The Gentoo Samba server machine 
(called it wormhole, hihi) is some neat old p2 at 400Mhz with 64MB of 
SDRam. More memory doesn't help a bit and overclocking the CPU (tried 
some +50Mhz) doesn't help either. I suspect its some software problem 
and mainly memory bandwith/latency.
Has anybody any idea how I could make the bridge perform better?

Some additional information:
I'm mounting the Windows share on the samba box via some simple 
"smbmount //ip/dir /mnt/dir"
And I share it on the gentoo box to the rest of the network via this 

---- snip
workgroup = GG
netbios name = wormhole
server string = Samba Server %v
security = share
hosts allow = 192.129.37.
load printers = no
log level = 0
read raw = yes
write raw = yes
max xmit = 65535
comment = Data
path = /mnt/test
read only = No
guest ok = Yes
--- snip

Running Linux version 2.6.10-gentoo-r6.

Thanks in advance

Sebastian Schaetz

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