I have a Debian box on which iv plugged in a usb external hard drive formated with NTFS. This HDD is 2TB. I mounted that usb drive using mount:

mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdf1 /media/backup

I then shared that mount using samba and my Windows 7 laptop can see it perfectly. This is what I see:

Network drive

The problem is the upload speed (which is around 1MB/s). Please notice that this is a local network and regarding to what this popup says, it will take me an hour to upload a 4GB file to another computer that is just a couple of foot from me via a WiFi-G connection (my laptop uses WiFi, but the Debian box is connected directly on the linksys router):

Upload progress

I think this is a problem because when the usb drive is plugged in directly to my Windows 7 laptop, I can transfer at 30MB/s.

Also, while connected via SSH during the upload progress, I noticed that my Debian Box was slower than normal in returning the prompt but I dont understand that if I look at the following stats:

Here is some revelant top results i took during the upload progress:

 5926 root      20   0  6204 1488  680 S    2  0.1   0:13.60 mount.ntfs-3g
 8095 jonathan  20   0 20012 4404 3568 S    1  0.4   0:08.92 smbd

So the problem is not a CPU utilization of memory issue. And here is the CPU load:

 23:46:24 up  3:32,  1 user,  load average: 0.01, 0.02, 0.00

Finally, this is the config file (/etc/samba/smb.conf):


comment = Backup Drive
path = /media/backup
writable = yes
browsable = yes
guest ok = no
read only = no
create mask = 0775
directory mask = 0775

If this can help, here is my linksys router config:

Linksys router wireless config

Thanks a lot and feel free to request any piece of log file or other stuff.

  • Would it be possible to create a share in a drive that is formatted using either EXT3/4 to see if you get the same results. – Luis Ventura Nov 18 '11 at 6:47
  • What kinds of speeds are you seeing with dragging and dropping onto the drive from the local machine? External USB drives are notorious for using the slowest drives imaginable for cost savings. – Matt Simmons Nov 20 '11 at 1:25

Since you also have delays in Ssh, Your wireless devices(client/ap), has to be measured. I dont think there is a reason to examine Linux/Disk.

1) Try Uploading something Wired network from your laptop 2) If you wanna measure read / write Speed on external thru linux:

hdparm -Tt /dev/sdf1 

Wireless Devices being used from Router devices are not 100% reliable to use with data trasfers

  • It's almost definitely a wireless bandwidth issue. Keep in mind that when windows copies a file it's not only copying the bits across but it's checking for errors. So it has to transmit a bit, transmit a request to read that bit, then the bit has to be transferred back. Your 1MB/sec is actually probably using 3MB/sec which is 24mbps. This is likely the rate that you've connected to your 802.11g network. Even if you connect at 54mbps you will see actual speeds much lower. – resmon6 Feb 3 '12 at 20:01

This won't make a difference if your network is the bottleneck, but you should try adding:

use sendfile = yes

to your smb.conf. It's doubled my samba transfer speeds on multiple setups.

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