[Samba] Excel & samba-3.0.11 slowness/hanging/lockup issues... Anyone?

Nathan Vidican nvidican at wmptl.com
Fri Mar 4 15:09:12 GMT 2005

Here's the problem we're encountering:

Having intermittent problems regarding users
opening/accessing/saving/writing MS Excel files into samba shares.

When a user accesses a file on a shared volume via samba, they can open an
Excel file and end up with one of two conditions; either their system hangs
after opening the file for a short pause (sometimes as much as 30seconds) -
then all is well, or they hang after opening Excel, but before loading the
file (which is the more common issue). It's as though the file is being held
or accessed by something which is preventing Excel from opening it right
away; thought perhaps antivirus was the issue therein, but disabling
antivirus reveals no change in the problem.

So I'm assuming it has to do with a locking issue or something of the likes,
but I've not encountered this before and figured I might have better luck
asking around before I pull my hair out over here.

Here's the scenario about as detailed as I thought neccessary:

- Running two servers, both identical hardware and O/S (64bit FreeBSD on
Dual AMD Opteron boxen) Both servers access the same user database and use
nss_ldap & pam_ldap for authentication and userinfo.

- The first, which acts as the BDC using samba 3.0.11, runs the primary ldap
server for single-sign-on application using posix/unix/samba account
attributes combined. We're using OpenLDAP, and running slurpd to the second
server which runs a slave ldap server purely for backup purposes.

- The second server, which acts as the PDC using samba-3.0.8 (havn't gotten
around to upgrading it yet, hesitant because of the printer drivers db, etc
stored in the current config).

Users login on the windows side from either W2K pro, or WinXP Pro. Their
profiles are shared/stored on the BDC (all profiles mapped to BDC,
regardless of which server they happen to login to). All of the office,
estimating, purchasing, and accounting shares are on the BDC as well, (the
PDC runs all engineering, cad, cmm, cnc, and archive data). Both machines
rsync each other's data back and forth and offer the same shares in case of
total system failure by one of the servers, (rsync'd daily, so worst-case, a
department can roll back to previous day's data).

We are running WINS, the BDC and PDC have static entries in WINS.DAT,
(ironically because the BDC doesn't seem to broadcast it's pressence - but
that's another issue), all name resolution has no delay; ie: ping server2
goes right through without hesitation to the correct IP address.

There is also an internal DNS server which maps forward and reverse DNS
entries in conjunction with the dhcp services.

All client computers get their ip address and configuration information from
DHCP; but all have a Novell Netware client installation as well. Novell is
running on both tcp/ip and IPX/SPX, there are a few clients (namely dos
machines mostly), which are not on the samba domain and use the same
physical network to access a novell Netware Server via IPX, however all
windows clients use tcp/ip exclusively.

Nathan Vidican
nvidican at wmptl.com
Windsor Match Plate & Tool Ltd.

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