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To: CIPE <cipe-l,AT,inka,DOT,de>
Subject: Slow file sharing performance - summary
From: James Knott <james.knott,AT,rogers,DOT,com>
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2003 15:25:34 -0400

I installed a CIPE VPN, between my notebook computer and firewall. The notebook computer accessed my home network, via a dial up ISP and VPN. My home network was connected to a cable modem. The VPN worked well, except for Samba and NFS file sharing from my home network to the notebook. File sharing in the opposite direction worked as well as can be expected. Other protocols, such as FTP, telnet, SSH etc., also worked well in both directions. My initial suspicions were that the problem was due to the lack of flow control with UDP packets, which are used by NFS and to a limited extent by Samba. Since this problem also occurred when attempting to access an OS/2 system, I suspected that the problem was due more to the protocol, than the Samba server. I posted this problem to Samba, NFS and Linux newsgroups and mail lists, but didn't get any response. Although I wasn't convinced it was a CIPE problem, I posted it in this mail list, in case someone else had experienced a similar situation. There were many responses, some useful, some not. I was however, given many possibilities to try, most of which had no effect on the problem. I also tried connecting via wireless and directly to the firewall. These connections entered my firewall in exactly the same manner as when I was using dial up, the main obvious difference being speed, up to 100 Mb, vs less than 50K via dial up. When I used higher speed connections, the file sharing worked as it should, which caused me to further suspect UDP flow control problems. This also ruled out the possibility of firewall rules causing the problem. Then some members here mentioned the "interfaces" option for Samba, which specify the connections to be supported. Using this option corrected the problem for Samba file access. The Samba man page discusses this option and mentions that Samba defaults to using all broadcast capable interfaces. As I recall, ppp interfaces, such as CIPE and the dialer, are not broadcast capable. This was not a factor in the past, when I've worked with file sharing over dial up in OS/2 and Windows. And while the interfaces option cleared the problem for dial up, it doesn't explain why I didn't have problems at the higher speeds. I would have thought that the broadcast issue would have been the same in all cases. This is a situation that should be investigated by someone who's more familiar with Samba than I am.

NFS still does not work over dial up.

Thanks again for your help.


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