[Samba] Mac OS Mavericks über slow

Dan Mons dmons at cuttingedge.com.au
Tue Sep 2 18:17:10 MDT 2014

The problem is MacOSX's Finder requiring lookups of resource forks
files.  You see these frequently on your file server - for each
"file.ext" you'll see a "._file.ext" with resource fork information in
it - a throwback to ancient times.

MacOSX Finder does a lookup for each of these, which causes a NACK on
Samba.  This process is slow for folders with many files.  On our
100TB GlusterFS setup, it's even worse, as a NACK on clustered storage
is very slow.  It's also the reason why slow links like VPN or WAN
users find the problem compounds for them.

The solution we found was to enable streams_xattr:


This allows the resource fork information to be stored on disk inside
xattr  (extended attributes) instead of a a file, and MacOSX's Finder
then doesn't require the extra lookup.  You'll need a backing file
system with xattr enabled (we use XFS under GlusterFS, so this is
enabled by default for us).

On 3 September 2014 03:12, Emmanuel Florac <eflorac at intellique.com> wrote:
> Try disabling the unix extensions. Alternatively, NFS works perfectly
> well with Macs...

I'm sorry, but NFS is awful on MacOSX.  The MacOSX client (in
partciular Finder and its fscache) has all sorts of problems with NFS
shares.  Files and folders regularly disappear from view, renaming of
a file from uppercase to lowercase and back confuses the hell out of
Finder, and multiple people writing/editing files in the same folder
causes all sorts of chaos.  MacOSX appears to have two different file
system caches - one for Cocoa GUI applications (Finder, etc) and one
for the BSD subsystem and all CLI applications.   We frequently find
CLI-only tools work OK over NFS, but GUI tools (including launching
GUI tools from the CLI) have all sorts of dramas.  NFS thus becomes
completely unusable for our studio on MacOSX, and without a native
FUSE-GlusterFS that's stable for OSX, we're forced to use SMB.

SMB is only marginally better, but brings it's own set of problems.
As much as I love MacOSX dearly, it's utterly horrendous to use on a
network.  It's a fantastic standalone system, and has no problems in a
cloud-connected world where everything is delivered by HTTP/HTTPS.
But when it comes to high performance storage protocols like NFS and
SMB, MacOSX (and in particular Finder) is way down the list of


Dan Mons
Unbreaker of broken things
Cutting Edge

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