Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Ok, linux dudes, please bear with me. I'm a windows dude who just set up his first linux server...

The problem I am having is that samba performance is really poor both when reading and writing from/to a samba share residing on the linux box. Local disk i/o on the box itself is great, the machine is idle and I am the only one accessing it. I have googled and tried some of the common workarounds mentioned when people run into samba performance issues but so far it has had no effect whatsoever.

Server config:
Intel ATOM 330 D945GCLF2 w bios 229 (latest)
2x WD1001FALS (WD caviar black 1Tb), set up with linux software raid during installation
2gb DDR2 (800 5-4-4-18 downclocked to 500-3-3-3-9, passed all memory tests by memtest86)
Ubuntu 9.04 server amd64 + samba and subversion
Wired 100 mbps network connection from onboard NIC to a Linksys WRT300N

Client config:
Dell inspiron 9400, Windows Vista x64, 4Gb RAM, no performance problems otherwise.
Wireless g connection (54Mbps, I get ~25Mbps against other resources on the same network)

Local disk I/O on the linux box has great throughput:

$ sudo hdparm -tT /dev/md2

 Timing cached reads:   1310 MB in  2.00 seconds = 655.21 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  294 MB in  3.01 seconds =  97.82 MB/sec
$ sudo hdparm -tT /dev/sda

 Timing cached reads:   1324 MB in  2.00 seconds = 661.47 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  318 MB in  3.00 seconds = 105.85 MB/sec
$ sudo hdparm -tT /dev/sdb

 Timing cached reads:   1328 MB in  2.00 seconds = 663.55 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  300 MB in  3.01 seconds =  99.55 MB/sec

However, when I copy files over the network to the samba share, I get write speeds around 1-1.5Mb/s. When reading files from the samba share it takes a long break (several seconds) before reading the files.

Now, TCPStat on the server shows a lot of traffic from the windows box just by opening the samba share as a unc share in explorer in windows. It looks like windows is enumerating files, but I wouldn't expect that to block anything else..? Or is samba by default all-sequential single-session/single-connection?

Any ideas? When googling I came across some articles for older linux versions where they recommended recompiling and replacing the realtek driver, but none of those articles mentioned ubuntu 9.04. And I don't really feel comfortable with starting to recompile the OS and/or device drivers before having pinpointed the root cause of the problem...

Edit: here's my smb.conf file (with comments etc removed) ->

   workgroup = WORKGROUP
   wins support = yes
   dns proxy = no
   name resolve order = wins lmhosts host bcast
   log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
   max log size = 1000
   syslog = 0
   panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d
   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

      SO_RCVBUF=8192 SO_SNDBUF=8192
socket options = TCP_NODELAY

   usershare allow guests = yes

   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 = yes
   read only = yes
   guest ok = no

comment = images
read only=no
locking = no
path = /home/someusername/someshare
guest ok = no
share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It sounds like your network card is only going at 10Mb/s. But before you fool around with the card, first try connecting your laptop wired to rule out a wireless issue. If you have the same problem, try copying something using scp instead of samba. Just download pscp from link text and transfer a file by typing:

pscp <your file> <linux user>@<linux server>:<folder> 
for example:
  pscp c:\temp\some-big-file.txt KristoferA@

If that runs slow too then your problem isn't Samba, you likely just need a different network card driver.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. PSCP also tops out at 1.5 Mbps so I think you're right re the network card driver. –  KristoferA Aug 31 '09 at 6:56
I changed the realtek driver from the auto-installed r8169 to r8168. This improved performance a bit, but it is still nowhere near the performance I would expect. Write performance is a lot better (90mbps over wired-to-wired) but when opening a file for reading there is still a several seconds long delay... –  KristoferA Sep 1 '09 at 3:52
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.