Slow CIFS/SMB bandwidth

I have very slow CIFS/SMB transfer from my Debian Linux server to the WD TV Live.

The problem appears when I try to play 1080p video, e.g. a 11 GB file - then the video starts to stutter. If first seems to buffer a bit, then it plays nice for some 5 seconds, then it stutters for the rest of the time. It seems obvious that it is too slow network. Looking at the disk access on my server, it seems to be about ~ 600 kBps being read from it.

HOWEVER, when I copy this file from the Debian Linux server to my Ubuntu Karmic client, I get a stable 5.5 MBps.

Both my Ubuntu box, and the WD TV Live, is connected to the same router.

Something is wrong on the WD TV Live side. Is it possible that the WD TV Live has gone into 10 Mbps instead of 100 Mbps? - that would explain the tenfold drop in speed between the two. How could I check that?

Are there other threads or whatnots with solutions to this?

I have pushed content to the Live at 11MB/second playing back a 60 minute video that was 9GB in size so I know the live can handle the throughput.

Is this wireless or wired connected ?

Seeing as you have linux experience I would recommend you look at the custom firmware.

It enables telnet acess, NFS, and lots of other linux goodies that will let you customize the smb.conf file to best work with your network.

Thanks for the reply! (It is wired, but that didn’t have much to do with this, it seems)

I managed to hack it!

  1. I mount the relevant disks from my Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 Lenny server, to my client box running Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic , via NFS.
  2. Then I export these again using Samba from this Ubuntu box.

All of a sudden, the pre-buffering took extremely short time, the stuttering is totally gone, and skipping works near instantaneously!!

(I also got a steady 7.4 MBps when copying from the Ubuntu box to the Ubuntu box via CIFS this time! I assume this is because NFS is much nimbler in network traffic, and the CIFS traffic didn’t have to go through the network, only local, but maybe also because the Ubuntu box is way faster.)

So, there is probably some difference between the Samba distribution or samba config of these two boxen (or potentially between the network stacks config, but that starts to seem far fetched):

Debian smbd --version: Version 3.2.5

Ubuntu smbd --version: Version 3.4.0

Doing a diff between testparm -vs for the two boxen didn’t reveal any striking parameters.

Btw, the homebrew looks interesting!