Chapter 12. Tuning the performance of a Samba server

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Learn what settings can improve the performance of Samba in certain situations, and which settings can have a negative performance impact.

Parts of this section were adopted from the Performance Tuning documentation published in the Samba Wiki. License: CC BY 4.0. Authors and contributors: See the history tab on the Wiki page.


  • Samba is set up as a file or print server

12.1. Setting the SMB protocol version

Each new SMB version adds features and improves the performance of the protocol. The recent Windows and Windows Server operating systems always supports the latest protocol version. If Samba also uses the latest protocol version, Windows clients connecting to Samba benefit from the performance improvements. In Samba, the default value of the server max protocol is set to the latest supported stable SMB protocol version.


To always have the latest stable SMB protocol version enabled, do not set the server max protocol parameter. If you set the parameter manually, you will need to modify the setting with each new version of the SMB protocol, to have the latest protocol version enabled.

The following procedure explains how to use the default value in the server max protocol parameter.


  1. Remove the server max protocol parameter from the [global] section in the /etc/samba/smb.conf file.
  2. Reload the Samba configuration

    # smbcontrol all reload-config

12.2. Tuning shares with directories that contain a large number of files

Linux supports case-sensitive file names. For this reason, Samba needs to scan directories for uppercase and lowercase file names when searching or accessing a file. You can configure a share to create new files only in lowercase or uppercase, which improves the performance.


  • Samba is configured as a file server


  1. Rename all files on the share to lowercase.


    Using the settings in this procedure, files with names other than in lowercase will no longer be displayed.

  2. Set the following parameters in the share’s section:

    case sensitive = true
    default case = lower
    preserve case = no
    short preserve case = no

    For details about the parameters, see their descriptions in the smb.conf(5) man page.

  3. Verify the /etc/samba/smb.conf file:

    # testparm
  4. Reload the Samba configuration:

    # smbcontrol all reload-config

After you applied these settings, the names of all newly created files on this share use lowercase. Because of these settings, Samba no longer needs to scan the directory for uppercase and lowercase, which improves the performance.

12.3. Settings that can have a negative performance impact

By default, the kernel in Red Hat Enterprise Linux is tuned for high network performance. For example, the kernel uses an auto-tuning mechanism for buffer sizes. Setting the socket options parameter in the /etc/samba/smb.conf file overrides these kernel settings. As a result, setting this parameter decreases the Samba network performance in most cases.

To use the optimized settings from the Kernel, remove the socket options parameter from the [global] section in the /etc/samba/smb.conf.

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