[Samba] Samba + BDE and slow speed on reading (long)

Giovani Moda - MR Informática giovani at mrinformatica.com.br
Wed Feb 6 15:29:39 GMT 2008

Hello list.

I'm new here, and I'm joining because I'm having a problem wich I can't 
figure out the solution myself. Here's what's happening:

A Samba 3.0.24 is serving files to seven Windows XP clients. Three of those 
clients run an application with a BDE database. The problem is that when 
running this application on Samba, it gets very, VERY slow, causing it to 
hang. I have noticed also an unusual low speed when receiving files from the 
samba server over network. When sending files to the server, the speed is 
OK. Since the databases used by that apllication have about 50Mb each, the 
problem must be caused by that slow speed on receiving files from the 

I've twiked the configuration a bit, and came to this results:

socket options = SO_RCVBUF=65535 SO_SNDBUF=65535 TCP_NODELAY 
IPTOS_LOWDELAY - Very slow on reading, fast when writing
socket options = TCP_NODELAY IPTOS_LOWDELAY - still slow on read, but a 
little better. Fast when writing
socket options = TCP_NODELAY IPTOS_LOWDELAY SO_SNDBUF=32768 - significant 
improvement when reading files, but the application still hangs due to the 
slow speed. Fast when reading.
SO_RCVBUF=32768 - same as above, but writing speed shows deterioration.

Other significant parameters:

   max connections = 50
   dos filetimes = yes
   max open files = 4000
   nt acl support = yes
   preserve case = yes
   strict locking = no
   deadtime = 15
   unix charset = iso8859-1
   display charset = cp850
   oplocks = no
   kernel oplocks = no
   level2 oplocks = no
  local master = yes
   os level = 64
   domain master = yes
   time server = yes
   preferred master = yes
   domain logons = yes
   name resolve order = wins bcast host lmhosts
   wins support = yes
   wins proxy = yes
   dns proxy = no

So, I went for socket options = TCP_NODELAY IPTOS_LOWDELAY SO_SNDBUF=32768 
and got these results:

Copying a 45678592 bytes throug samba, it takes from 45 to 60 seconds to 
transfer. The same file though FTP takes only 3.9 seconds. I know FTP is the 
fastest protocol and cannot be compared to samba, but still, that's a HUGE 

As a desperate measure, I've copied the whole database to a XP machine, 
shared the folder to the network, mapped it to the other stations, and the 
application runs perfectly again.

Conclusion: there's definitely a problem when reading files from samba 
server. It's not network related, since FTP is really fast, and when serving 
the database from XP, the speed is OK too. The server is a brand new Core 2 
Duo E4500, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HD SATAII, NIC Realtek r8169 connected to a 
DES-1008D Gigabit Switch. The distro in question is FC5 fully updated.

As a related topic, I've came across a situation (two times and couting) 
when writing files to the samba server is painfully slow. On both cases, 
setting SO_RCVBUF=1 has resolved the problem. I don't know why, but it did. 
Both times, the server was connected to a D-Link DES-1024 switch. Switching 
NIC's and cables had no effect, but SO_RCVBUF=1 solved it instantly. Could 
it be related tho this version of samba and the problem I'm having now?

Any thoughts?


Giovani Moda

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