[Samba] Excessive disk activity from browse.dat regeneration

Bret Orsburn borsburn at codonics.com
Wed Aug 27 18:44:01 GMT 2008


I'm trying to track down and eliminate the sources of excessive disk 
activity in an idle system that is resulting in premature hard disk failure.

Access time updates to inodes turned out to be the worst culprit, 
triggering writes every 35 seconds or so. Mounting filesystems with the 
noatime option fixed that problem.

But not too far behind inode updates is the frequent regeneration of the 
browse.dat file by nmbd.

My first thought was to move browse.dat to a tmpfs so nmbd could create 
the file as often as it likes without chewing up our hard disks. But the 
lock directory that contains browse.dat also contains a bunch of other 
files and some of them seem to want to be persistent. I started down the 
path of spinning a web of symlinks to put everything in a place where it 
will be happy. But there seem to be several different lifecycles 
represented in this collection of files and making them all happy is 
looking trickier than I had hoped.

This seems like the sort of thing that other people would have figured 
out by now. I've searched the samba archives and haven't found any 
discussions on exactly this point.

Before I dig deeper into the code, could some of you more experienced 
Samba hands point me to a work-around for this problem?


I'm using Samba 3.0.0 on Redhat 7.3. (Yes, I know that's very old.)


    Bret Orsburn

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