[Samba] Samba seems to pause for a long time and do nothing

Peter Lappo peter.lappo at smr.co.uk
Sun Jun 24 21:27:54 GMT 2007

I get long pauses if I just drag and drop any large file using windows 
explorer from the server to the client. So its not confined to using a 
mp3 player.

The mp3 player works fine when using a local file or when streaming from 
another windows xp machine. See stats below.

Sometimes there is a long pause before anything appears to happen.

Here are some interesting transfer times on a 30MB file.
Transfer times and network peaks according to Windows Task Manager are 

When using Windows Explorer to drag and drop files (ie at the pc screen)
PC -> Samba     5 sec          60% network peaks, no pauses
Samba -> PC     1 minute     20% network peaks, significant pauses

When using Fedora Nautilus to drag and drop files (ie sitting at the 
server screen),
PC -> Samba     15 sec        20% network peaks, no pauses
Samba -> PC     1 minute     5% network peaks, no pauses

When using Windows Explorer to drag and drop files, (ie drag and drop 
between local and remote pc)
PC -> PC remote    5 sec     80% peak, no pauses
PC remote -> PC    5 sec     80% peak, no pauses

The smbstatus didn't change throughout.

The problem seems to be sending data from Samba to the client.

It would be interesting to try Samba to Samba transfers but I don't have 
the equipment set-up to try this.

PS Is it possible to post images to the list?

Francis Galiegue wrote:
> Le Sunday 24 June 2007 16:10:04 Peter Lappo, vous avez écrit :
>> Hi,
>> I have a problem with Samba (although it may be my hardware, I'm not sure).
>> I have a Linux i386 Samba server that I use for storing music, pictures
>> etc in a small home network which isn't that busy. When I stream music
>> to my laptop I get periods of silence which coincide with periods of
>> network inactivity. These can last up to 50 seconds and can be seen on
>> both the Linux and PC performance monitors. I thought perhaps I was a
>> running an old version of samba and tried to upgrade my Suse 9.2 box.
>> Unfortunately this didn't work so I've just installed Fedora 7 core with
>> version Samba 3.0.25a. However, the pausing problem is still there. I
>> don't get this problem between Windows XP machines and the problem
>> occurs with any Windows client. Note, I had to turn off SELinux to get
>> samba to work.
>> I was wondering if there are any config options I should be setting to
>> improve performance?
>> Or perhaps there are some diagnostic tools / extra logging to see what
>> is happening?
> What happens if you try and copy the whole music file to your WinXP client? Do 
> you still observe pauses?
> If not, try this:
> * log in as root on your Samba server from your Windows PC (for example, using 
> PuTTY);
> * type the command :
> watch -n 1smbstatus
> on the Samba server;
> * play file.
> In case your media player buffers the file, you may see that it opens it, 
> reads some of it and then closes it - before opening it again. But opening a 
> file is a time consuming operation, and that may explain part of the delay. 
> 50 seconds is a lot, though. Which leads to another question: how much time 
> elapses between your asking the media player to play the file and the media 
> player starting to play that file?

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