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I'm exporting a directory tree from a Linux server to a Windows XP client over Samba. Sometimes, when files are modified on the Linux side, the Windows side keeps seeing an out-of-date version. It looks like the Windows client is keeping a cache and not refreshing that cache when the file has changed, though I don't know that this is the explanation. I have not knowingly turned on any option for aggressive caching.

Here's an example of confirming the issue: this is a transcript in a Cygwin shell on the Windows machine (the tree is mounted on L: on the Windows client). The 547a… checksum (generated around 20:11:50) is the state of the file as it was around 19:50; but Windows still saw that stale version of the file at 20:11 even though it had been overwritten several times in the meantime. Calling stat somehow caused the cache to refresh.

$ md5sum /cygdrive/l/path/to/file
547af1697a17d80190fd55e8119c6317 */cygdrive/l/path/to/file
$ stat /cygdrive/l/path/to/file
  File: `/cygdrive/l/path/to/file'
  Size: 110949          Blocks: 1024       IO Block: 65536  regular file
Device: deed201bh/3740082203d   Inode: 8873405464413  Links: 1
Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--)  Uid: (4294967295/????????)   Gid: (4294967295/????????)
Access: 2011-11-14 20:11:56.499630000 +0100
Modify: 2011-11-14 20:06:40.199630000 +0100
Change: 2011-11-14 20:06:40.199630000 +0100
 Birth: 2011-11-14 20:06:40.000000000 +0100
$ md5sum /cygdrive/l/path/to/file
3373557393baf9e8952052a8ea7551ab */cygdrive/l/path/to/file

The server is Ubuntu 10.04 (Samba package version: 3.4.7~dfsg-1ubuntu3.8). The client is running Windows XP Pro (version 5.1.2600) with the latest patches AFAIK. Here's /etc/samba/smb.conf minus comments; L: is one of the home directories.

   workgroup = ACME
   server string = %h
wins server =
   dns proxy = no
   log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
   max log size = 1000
   syslog = 0
   panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d
  security = user
   encrypt passwords = true
   passdb backend = tdbsam
   obey pam restrictions = yes
   unix password sync = yes
   passwd program = /usr/bin/passwd %u
   passwd chat = *Enter\snew\s*\spassword:* %n\n *Retype\snew\s*\spassword:* %n\n *password\supdated\ssuccessfully* .
   pam password change = yes
   map to guest = bad user
   socket options = TCP_NODELAY
   usershare allow guests = yes
   comment = Home Directories
   browseable = no
   read only = no
   comment = All Printers
   browseable = no
   path = /var/spool/samba
   printable = yes
   guest ok = no
   read only = yes
   create mask = 0700
   comment = Printer Drivers
   path = /var/lib/samba/printers
   browseable = no
   read only = yes
   guest ok = no

Ideally, I would like to fix this bug. Failing that, how can I reliably (and reasonably) flush the whatever cache is being kept? The file is being read from a Cygwin shell script.

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