[Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba - Samba

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Thread: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

  1. [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    The first time a Word or Excel file is opened, i.e., when either Word or
    Excel have not been actively running "recently" (like, say for several
    minutes or more), the time it takes to start the application and load
    the file seem inordinately long.

    Once the first evolution is complete, files open more-or-less instantly
    if I close the first document but leave either app running (but void of
    any open documents). This pertains to the same file opened a second
    time, or different files -- once Word/Excel has done whatever it is
    thats takes so long for initial start up, then load performance is
    acceptable (in fact it is very impressive!).

    And it is not merely the loading of the app, because it happens both
    when I start the apps implicitly by double-clicking on a document in
    Windows Explorer, but also if I first start Word/Excel explicitly from
    the START menu without a specific document and then open one from the
    Samba share using File|Open.

    Envirnoment:

    Server is RHEL 5 with Samba version samba-3.0.23c-2.el5.2.0.2

    Desktops are XP Pro SP2 on some, and XP Home SP2 on others.

    MS Office Suite is XP Pro (i.e., Word/Excel 2002)

    Desktops also run Symantec Corporate Edition 8.1 (although same problem
    continues on a machine from which I uninstalled that as part of my
    debugging.)

    I initially had no explicit settings regarding opportunistic locking in
    smb.conf, but I've tried server different configurations without
    improvement. What appears below is the current configuration and the
    problem still pertains.


    smb.conf:

    [global]
    workgroup = mygroup
    server string = Samba Server
    hosts allow = 192.168.123. 127.
    cups options = raw
    log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
    max log size = 50
    dns proxy = no
    username map = /etc/samba/smbusers
    case sensitive = no
    kernel oplocks = no


    [homes]
    comment =
    browseable = no
    writeable = yes

    [acct]
    path = /usr/local/var/samba/acct
    writeable = yes
    guest ok = yes
    browseable = no
    create mask = 0765
    directory mask = 0775
    oplocks = False
    level2 oplocks = False


    [engr]
    path = /usr/local/var/samba/engr
    writeable = yes
    browseable = no
    guest ok = yes
    create mask = 0765
    directory mask = 0775
    oplocks = False
    level2 oplocks = False


    Active Directory is not used. All workstations (about 25) simply map
    drive letters locally.

    This performance problem appeared only after we began using Samba for
    file server. Never saw this in close to 15 years of using Netware -- so
    I suspect it is not purely an MS-Office problem, but something to do
    with the interaction between MS-Office and Samba. I eagerly await your help!


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  2. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    Berend,

    This wasn't a migration from an NT domain was it? We had the problem
    after a migration that starting up Office programs was incredibly slow -
    it turned out there were a load of Office registry entries pointing to
    UNC paths on the old Windows PDC.

    Just an idea...

    Cheers

    Alex

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  3. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    My first question would be does this happen with other applications or
    strictly Office? Do you get the same behavior if you attempt to open a
    ..doc file with Open Office?

    Second, have you watched your samba logs in real time (example: tail -f
    /var/log/samba/) as you try to open a file to see what's
    happening behind the scenes?

    Lastly, I'm not sure what happens when you use true or false as a value
    for oplocks and level2 oplocks, but I thought the values were either yes
    or no.

    Berend Tober wrote:
    > The first time a Word or Excel file is opened, i.e., when either Word
    > or Excel have not been actively running "recently" (like, say for
    > several minutes or more), the time it takes to start the application
    > and load the file seem inordinately long.
    >
    > Once the first evolution is complete, files open more-or-less
    > instantly if I close the first document but leave either app running
    > (but void of any open documents). This pertains to the same file
    > opened a second time, or different files -- once Word/Excel has done
    > whatever it is thats takes so long for initial start up, then load
    > performance is acceptable (in fact it is very impressive!).
    >
    > And it is not merely the loading of the app, because it happens both
    > when I start the apps implicitly by double-clicking on a document in
    > Windows Explorer, but also if I first start Word/Excel explicitly from
    > the START menu without a specific document and then open one from the
    > Samba share using File|Open.
    >
    > Envirnoment:
    >
    > Server is RHEL 5 with Samba version samba-3.0.23c-2.el5.2.0.2
    >
    > Desktops are XP Pro SP2 on some, and XP Home SP2 on others.
    >
    > MS Office Suite is XP Pro (i.e., Word/Excel 2002)
    >
    > Desktops also run Symantec Corporate Edition 8.1 (although same
    > problem continues on a machine from which I uninstalled that as part
    > of my debugging.)
    >
    > I initially had no explicit settings regarding opportunistic locking
    > in smb.conf, but I've tried server different configurations without
    > improvement. What appears below is the current configuration and the
    > problem still pertains.
    >
    >
    > smb.conf:
    >
    > [global]
    > workgroup = mygroup
    > server string = Samba Server
    > hosts allow = 192.168.123. 127.
    > cups options = raw
    > log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
    > max log size = 50
    > dns proxy = no
    > username map = /etc/samba/smbusers
    > case sensitive = no
    > kernel oplocks = no
    >
    >
    > [homes]
    > comment =
    > browseable = no
    > writeable = yes
    >
    > [acct]
    > path = /usr/local/var/samba/acct
    > writeable = yes
    > guest ok = yes
    > browseable = no
    > create mask = 0765
    > directory mask = 0775
    > oplocks = False
    > level2 oplocks = False
    >
    >
    > [engr]
    > path = /usr/local/var/samba/engr
    > writeable = yes
    > browseable = no
    > guest ok = yes
    > create mask = 0765
    > directory mask = 0775
    > oplocks = False
    > level2 oplocks = False
    >
    >
    > Active Directory is not used. All workstations (about 25) simply map
    > drive letters locally.
    >
    > This performance problem appeared only after we began using Samba for
    > file server. Never saw this in close to 15 years of using Netware --
    > so I suspect it is not purely an MS-Office problem, but something to
    > do with the interaction between MS-Office and Samba. I eagerly await
    > your help!
    >
    >


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  4. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    Aaron Kincer wrote:
    > My first question would be does this happen with other applications or
    > strictly Office?


    No one has complained about other apps, which in our case the next most
    heavily used is AutoCAD. I think I would have heard by now if that were
    a problem.

    > Do you get the same behavior if you attempt to open a
    > .doc file with Open Office?


    The answer is yes to that, but I would estimate that it is a little less
    noticeable.

    > Second, have you watched your samba logs in real time (example: tail -f
    > /var/log/samba/) as you try to open a file to see what's
    > happening behind the scenes?


    I have, and with log level = 5, but I don't really get a lot out that
    data. Do you think posting a sample would be beneficial?


    > Lastly, I'm not sure what happens when you use true or false as a value
    > for oplocks and level2 oplocks, but I thought the values were either yes
    > or no.


    I've seen both posted in different articles my buddy Google and I turned
    up, and testparm reported no problems, but I'll switch false to no.

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  5. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    Alex Crow wrote:
    > This wasn't a migration from an NT domain was it? We had the problem
    > after a migration that starting up Office programs was incredibly slow -
    > it turned out there were a load of Office registry entries pointing to
    > UNC paths on the old Windows PDC.
    >


    No. Not NT. Previous file server was Netware 5.1 (and 4.2, 4.1, and
    4.0... before that). Never had the problem on those machines. (And as a
    salute to Novell, it is pretty impressive to note that the machine we
    retired was a 1.5Ghz P4 w/ 512MB RAM and it was readily able to keep up
    with two dozen desktop clients that universally had better CPU and RAM
    specs! The new box is substantially more capable with 16x the RAM, for
    starters).

    Under Netware the local workstation users did not have to explicitly map
    drive letters, because Netware had a login script utility that handled
    that. In the new environment we just established each client with
    "reconnect at login" drive letter mappings to the corresponding Samba
    shares to where all the files had been copied to from the legacy Netware
    server -- so everyone that had made desktop shortcuts into often-used
    sub-directories on the old server were still able to use them on the new
    server when the showed up on Monday morning. Those desktop shortcuts are
    certainly not the source of the problem, though, because I'm debugging
    by navigating to the file location directly in Windows Explorer, or
    using the File|Open dialog from the main menu in either app.


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  6. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    Berend Tober wrote:
    > Aaron Kincer wrote:
    >> ...
    >> Do you get the same behavior if you attempt to open a .doc file
    >> with Open Office?

    >
    > The answer is yes to that, but I would estimate that it is a little
    > less noticeable.



    Let me correct that. It is a lot less noticable. Maybe even it doesn't
    happen and I'm seeing is the difference in load time for the OO
    software. Hard to tell for sure. Definitely it is not as bad with OO.

    >
    > Lastly, I'm not sure what happens when you use true or false as a value
    > for oplocks and level2 oplocks, but I thought the values were either yes
    > or no.


    Using "no" in place of "false" made not difference.

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  7. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 13:03 -0400, Berend Tober wrote:
    > Alex Crow wrote:
    > > This wasn't a migration from an NT domain was it? We had the problem
    > > after a migration that starting up Office programs was incredibly slow -
    > > it turned out there were a load of Office registry entries pointing to
    > > UNC paths on the old Windows PDC.
    > >

    >
    > No. Not NT. Previous file server was Netware 5.1 (and 4.2, 4.1, and
    > 4.0... before that). Never had the problem on those machines. (And as a
    > salute to Novell, it is pretty impressive to note that the machine we
    > retired was a 1.5Ghz P4 w/ 512MB RAM and it was readily able to keep up
    > with two dozen desktop clients that universally had better CPU and RAM
    > specs! The new box is substantially more capable with 16x the RAM, for
    > starters).
    >
    > Under Netware the local workstation users did not have to explicitly map
    > drive letters, because Netware had a login script utility that handled
    > that. In the new environment we just established each client with
    > "reconnect at login" drive letter mappings to the corresponding Samba
    > shares to where all the files had been copied to from the legacy Netware
    > server -- so everyone that had made desktop shortcuts into often-used
    > sub-directories on the old server were still able to use them on the new
    > server when the showed up on Monday morning. Those desktop shortcuts are
    > certainly not the source of the problem, though, because I'm debugging
    > by navigating to the file location directly in Windows Explorer, or
    > using the File|Open dialog from the main menu in either app.
    >
    >


    Just an idea - we found things that were completely unrelated to how we
    thought the previous setup would be. It still might be worth scanning
    the registry on a couple of client machines though.

    Cheers

    Alex

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  8. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    Berend Tober ha scritto:
    > The first time a Word or Excel file is opened, i.e., when either Word or
    > Excel have not been actively running "recently" (like, say for several
    > minutes or more), the time it takes to start the application and load
    > the file seem inordinately long.
    >
    > Once the first evolution is complete, files open more-or-less instantly
    > if I close the first document but leave either app running (but void of
    > any open documents). This pertains to the same file opened a second
    > time, or different files -- once Word/Excel has done whatever it is
    > thats takes so long for initial start up, then load performance is
    > acceptable (in fact it is very impressive!).
    >
    > And it is not merely the loading of the app, because it happens both
    > when I start the apps implicitly by double-clicking on a document in
    > Windows Explorer, but also if I first start Word/Excel explicitly from
    > the START menu without a specific document and then open one from the
    > Samba share using File|Open.
    >
    > Envirnoment:
    >
    > Server is RHEL 5 with Samba version samba-3.0.23c-2.el5.2.0.2
    >
    > Desktops are XP Pro SP2 on some, and XP Home SP2 on others.
    >
    > MS Office Suite is XP Pro (i.e., Word/Excel 2002)
    >
    > Desktops also run Symantec Corporate Edition 8.1 (although same problem
    > continues on a machine from which I uninstalled that as part of my
    > debugging.)
    >
    > I initially had no explicit settings regarding opportunistic locking in
    > smb.conf, but I've tried server different configurations without
    > improvement. What appears below is the current configuration and the
    > problem still pertains.
    >
    >
    > smb.conf:
    >
    > [global]
    > workgroup = mygroup
    > server string = Samba Server
    > hosts allow = 192.168.123. 127.
    > cups options = raw
    > log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
    > max log size = 50
    > dns proxy = no
    > username map = /etc/samba/smbusers
    > case sensitive = no
    > kernel oplocks = no
    >
    >
    > [homes]
    > comment =
    > browseable = no
    > writeable = yes
    >
    > [acct]
    > path = /usr/local/var/samba/acct
    > writeable = yes
    > guest ok = yes
    > browseable = no
    > create mask = 0765
    > directory mask = 0775
    > oplocks = False
    > level2 oplocks = False
    >
    >
    > [engr]
    > path = /usr/local/var/samba/engr
    > writeable = yes
    > browseable = no
    > guest ok = yes
    > create mask = 0765
    > directory mask = 0775
    > oplocks = False
    > level2 oplocks = False
    >
    >
    > Active Directory is not used. All workstations (about 25) simply map
    > drive letters locally.
    >
    > This performance problem appeared only after we began using Samba for
    > file server. Never saw this in close to 15 years of using Netware -- so
    > I suspect it is not purely an MS-Office problem, but something to do
    > with the interaction between MS-Office and Samba. I eagerly await your
    > help!
    >
    >


    Have you tried copying (tens of MBs) files or even those same office
    files to/from the share ? What is the performance there ?

    I had a similar performance problem which showed up in Office, but I
    found out it was not limited to "office" files, but affected the
    transfer speed between the client and the server in general.

    I have found a solution and posted it to this list, search for the
    thread "Vista client / Linux server - hight browsing latency" (or I will
    send you the e-mail if you so desire).

    HTH

    --
    Marcello Romani
    Responsabile IT
    Ottotecnica s.r.l.
    http://www.ottotecnica.com
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  9. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba (Solved)

    Marcello Romani wrote:
    > Berend Tober ha scritto:
    >> The first time a Word or Excel file is opened, i.e., when either Word
    >> or Excel have not been actively running "recently" (like, say for
    >> several minutes or more), the time it takes to start the application
    >> and load the file seem inordinately long.
    >>
    >> Once the first evolution is complete, files open more-or-less
    >> instantly ...


    Part of this implementation involved "hedging my bets", meaning I left
    the Novell Netware Client software installed on all the desktop
    computers in case there was a major, unanticipated disaster and we had
    to resume legacy server operations. Once that client software is
    removed, the initial load performance problem ceases.


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  10. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    Please review the Samba HOWTO, chapter 10, "Common Errors" where it
    discusses this issue.

    http://us4.samba.org/samba/docs/man/....html#id350945

    Jonathan Johnson
    Sutinen Consulting, Inc.
    www.sutinen.com


    Aaron Kincer wrote:
    > Also, as others have mentioned, Windows and its applications can have
    > long memories about servers contacted in the past. For example, the
    > list of recently opened files.
    >

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  11. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    I fixed this by using the following in login scripts for every share
    each domain account was supposed to have:

    net use driveletter: /delete
    net use driverletter: \\newserver\newsharelocation

    This fixed 99% of the invalid shares we had. There were a few people
    that had manually mapped drives. I just removed their mappings and added
    their mapped drives to their login scripts to set it correctly and that
    solved the issue.

    I eventually turned this off after I was satisfied all bad mappings had
    been resolved. Of course, it was the complaint of a user who uses
    offline files heavily that really helped nudge me into turning it off.
    The delete command was mucking up his sync process when he logged in
    first thing in the morning. Offline files sync as soon as they possibly
    can. Login scripts continue run if they are taking a while to complete
    despite syncing. The whole delete and recreating of a share seems to
    take just long enough so that a share can be delete while syncing is
    going on. The sync process gets very moody when you take away its mapped
    drive during sync.


    Jonathan Johnson wrote:
    > Please review the Samba HOWTO, chapter 10, "Common Errors" where it
    > discusses this issue.
    >
    > http://us4.samba.org/samba/docs/man/....html#id350945
    >
    >
    > Jonathan Johnson
    > Sutinen Consulting, Inc.
    > www.sutinen.com
    >
    >
    > Aaron Kincer wrote:
    >> Also, as others have mentioned, Windows and its applications can have
    >> long memories about servers contacted in the past. For example, the
    >> list of recently opened files.
    >>


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  12. Re: [Samba] Very slow initial opening MS-Word and MS-Excel files from Samba

    How about the temp directory in Office Preferences. Is it on the local
    workstation, or does it default to the dir where the file is opened. I
    always thought that could slow things down. (i.e. the creation of the
    ~foo.doc file).

    HTH,
    Steve

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