[Samba] Samba and the InterWeb

Scott Lovenberg scott.lovenberg at gmail.com
Wed Feb 13 00:36:05 GMT 2008

Alex Hooper wrote:
> Hi,
> We have an office-based Windows-locked publishing system whose only 
> delivery mechanism is to write to a local filesystem, and a 
> requirement for its output to be available to a collocated production 
> environment comprising Solaris and Linux boxes. The 'obvious' solution 
> was to run a Samba server on one of the collocated Linux boxes and 
> mount the share it provides on the relevant Windows machines in the 
> office. And this is what I have done. This works, but encounters the 
> problem I am about to describe.
> Connecting to the server/share in Explorer (Windows XP) by typing the 
> path (\\dns.host.name\share) into the address bar is accomplished 
> without problem, as is receiving a directory listing. But uploading a 
> file to the remote share (by drag and dropping) causes Explorer to 
> freeze for anything between 10 and 30 seconds after which the file 
> transfers at good speed.
> Map the remote share, using same connection details. Now copy is often 
> fine, but sometimes will just fail with a "Cannot copy
> <filename>: The specified network name is no longer available." and 
> leave a zero-length file at the remote end.
> Not infrequently, smbd processes are being left in an 'uninterruptible 
> sleep' state.
> If I mount the remote share via smbmount onto a Linux server in the 
> office, I don't encounter any of these problems.
> Packet-sniffing on scenario one shows that the pause is happening 
> before  any set-up for the file transfer: it looks like the client 
> disconnects, then there's a pause, then it reconnects.
> I'm using Samba version 3.0.25b-1.el4_6.4 on RHEL ES release 4. 
> Clients are Windows XP Pro. Our office has a fairly large and complex 
> LAN which is managed by a separate department. Access to the Internet 
> is, not surprisingly, via a NATting gateway. Appropriate ports have 
> been opened in the firewalls, though all communication is in 
> Direct-hosted mode (ie, I only see traffic on port 445/tcp).
> smb.conf looks like this:
> [global]
>         workgroup = WG123
>         netbios name = n2323  # hostname of server
>         server string = FOO-BAR-Samba
>         #wins proxy = yes
>         #wins server = xxx.xx.xx.x
>         security = user
>         passdb backend = tdbsam
>         load printers = no
>         # idle time (mins) before client is disconnected
>         dead time = 15
>         keepalive = 10
>         socket options = IPTOS_THROUGHPUT SO_SNDBUF=8576
>         inherit permissions = yes
> [test-xml]
>         path = /stuff/test-xml
>         writeable = Yes
>         public = no
> Could anyone suggest what might be going on here?
> Thanks,
> Alex.
On scenario1, is it (Windows client) trying to connect to port 445 on 
the server, being dropped instead of rejected, timing out, and then 
establishing a connection on port 139?  I think by default Windows tries 
to connect to both at the same time or something weird like that.

On scenario2, I've seen behavior something akin to this on a corrupted 
e1000 kernel module.  I've also seen bad cables (twice where gigabit and 
mii are concerned, IIRC) that behave all kinds of weird, at any given 

Anyways, FWIW, how does your 'netstat -s' output look?  Are you getting 
a considerable number of connection resets being sent or received?

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