[Samba] Samba4 - PDC - RHEL6 - Slow browsing from Mac clients

Paul Older paul at fresh-tech.it
Fri Oct 11 05:36:41 MDT 2013

I think I'm unravelling the mystery  I have on this one. I believe the situation to be as follows:

  *   Apple used to deploy the actual open source Samba system with it OSX.
  *   A few years ago, Samba made changes to their licensing meaning Apple could apparently no longer use it in a commercial release (so I've read)
  *   In OSX 10.6 Apple dropped Samba and implemented their own version of SMB client software
  *   These early releases of Apple's SMB have been a bit ropey, hence the need for things like Dave from Thursby which replace the SMB client
  *   At this time from personal recent experience it seems that Apple's SMB implementation in OSX 10.8 is more happy working with Windows Server than it is with Samba4
  *   Apple will be releasing a version of the SMB client that supports SMB2 in forthcoming Mavericks and is expected to solve a number of current SMB issues

I have a 100% reproducible use case for testing purposes which simply involves slow listing times in a directory with about 80 images.

In OSX 10.8 the listing time is about 60 seconds and then scrolling that directory listing is a very laggy
In OSX 10.9 (pre-release) the listing time is about 3 seconds, scrolling is fine
In OSX 10.8 running Dave, the directory listing is near instant and no issues with scrolling

So, for my current situation I have two verified client side solutions:

  1.  Wait for OSX Mavericks to be released and gently roll that out
  2.  Deploy "Dave" or similar

I am now going to investigate two server side solutions:

  1.  Run NFS alongside the existing Samba setup
  2.  Run AFP using Netatalk software

I'm slightly wary on Netatalk as we've had a nightmare with various NAS boxes recently, including QNAP and I believe these run Netatalk.

I'll report back in case it's useful for someone searching the archives in the future.


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