[Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

Berend Tober btober at seaworthysys.com
Wed Jun 13 15:34:22 GMT 2007

The first time a Word or Excel file is opened, i.e., when either Word or 
Excel have not been actively running "recently" (like, say for several 
minutes or more), the time it takes to start the application and load 
the file seem inordinately long.

Once the first evolution is complete, files open more-or-less instantly 
if I close the first document but leave either app running (but void of 
any open documents). This pertains to the same file opened a second 
time, or different files -- once Word/Excel has done whatever it is 
thats takes so long for initial start up, then load performance is 
acceptable (in fact it is very impressive!).

And it is not merely the loading of the app, because it happens both 
when I start the apps implicitly by double-clicking on a document in 
Windows Explorer, but also if I first start Word/Excel explicitly from 
the START menu without a specific document and then open one from the 
Samba share using File|Open.


Server is RHEL 5 with Samba version samba-3.0.23c-2.el5.2.0.2

Desktops are XP Pro SP2 on some, and XP Home SP2 on others.

MS Office Suite is XP Pro (i.e., Word/Excel 2002)

Desktops also run Symantec Corporate Edition 8.1 (although same problem 
continues on a machine from which I uninstalled that as part of my 

I initially had no explicit settings regarding opportunistic locking in 
smb.conf, but I've tried server different configurations without 
improvement. What appears below is the current configuration and the 
problem still pertains.


     workgroup = mygroup
     server string = Samba Server
     hosts allow = 192.168.123. 127.
     cups options = raw
     log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
     max log size = 50
     dns proxy = no
     username map = /etc/samba/smbusers
     case sensitive = no
     kernel oplocks = no

     comment =
     browseable = no
     writeable = yes

     path = /usr/local/var/samba/acct
     writeable = yes
     guest ok = yes
     browseable = no
     create mask = 0765
     directory mask = 0775
     oplocks = False
     level2 oplocks = False

     path = /usr/local/var/samba/engr
     writeable = yes
     browseable = no
     guest ok = yes
     create mask = 0765
     directory mask = 0775
     oplocks = False
     level2 oplocks = False

Active Directory is not used. All workstations (about 25) simply map 
drive letters locally.

This performance problem appeared only after we began using Samba for 
file server. Never saw this in close to 15 years of using Netware -- so 
I suspect it is not purely an MS-Office problem, but something to do 
with the interaction between MS-Office and Samba. I eagerly await your help!

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