[Samba] SMB slow by design?

Jan Engelhardt jengelh at linux01.gwdg.de
Sat Jan 27 21:10:36 GMT 2007

Hello list,

I have observed quite low bandwidth usage when copying files over SMB. 
This happens for at least three cases I have tested:

  *	Windows 98 SE reading from a Samba 3.0.22 smbd
  *	Windows XP reading from a Samba 3.0.23d
  *	smbclient reading from (3.0.23d)

According to iptraf, the average transfer rate was oscillating between 
8604.60 kbps and 8654.20 kbit/s, copying a 172MiB sample file took about 
5 minutes.

On the other hand, copying the file using a more simple protocol 
resulted in:
$ rsync -PHSav localhost:/tmp/172m-testfile /dev/shm/
40361 kbit/s, 66 seconds total transfer time

In the win98--3.0.22 network I have observed that smbd takes a lot of 
%system CPU time when transferring files. Since I observe this slowness 
on three different setups, the question arises: is SMB/CIFS badly 


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