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Old 06-11-2017, 11:27 PM   #1
toothandnail
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Strange intermittent problem with Samba shares


I'm not at all sure where I should be putting this question. If someone can think of a more suitable place, please let me know...

I have two fully updated copes of Arch Linux on my laptop, both running Xfce. One one of them, I have strange intermittent problems connecting to samba shares using Thunar. I have also seen some similar problems in Debian testing a while ago.

To make things really confusing, the problem doesn't always happen, and can happen at different parts of the connection process. Sometimes, I open Thunar and click on the browse network icon, only to have nothing happen, followed eventually by "unable to open "/" timeout reached". Other times, the panel will open to show the windows network, then fail to open individual workgroups, or sometimes individual shares on a remote machine.

Sometimes, the share will be shown, the login box pops up, but entering login details and clicking connect does nothing (though sometimes doing so a second time will result in a connection). Other times, all steps go through without any problems and I'm able to access the files in the windows shares.

The fact that the failure occurs at different points in the connection process is confusing, not to mention that the other Arch install (as well as the Sparky and Xubuntu installs) on the laptop shows no such problem. Also, access to samba shares from this install of Arch used to work without any problems at all. This problem started when I spent some time attempting to correct a connection problem to an Ubuntu server in another network.

I don't think the problem is Thunar. As a test, I installed pcmanfm, which exhibits similar behaviour. I also installed gigolo, which will sometimes connect, but will attempt to open a share using vlc, which (naturally) fails. Also, even when the any of the graphic connection tools fail, I can use 'mount -t cifs
//server/shareneame" without problems. I' not sure which of the support packages (gvfs, dbus?) could be causing the problem, or how they could be damaged by a user accessing them.

I've checked the system journal both when things are working, and when they fail and can't see any useful data shown at all. I thought the problem might be user specific, but a new user created just to test shows exactly the same behaviour.

Since I'm not seeing anything in the main systemd journal, I have no idea how to even start to diagnose the problem. I could reinstall, but this is one of very few problems I've not so far been able to solve, and I'd much rather work out what the cause is and fix it.

Any suggestions as to how I can diagnose where the problem is would be most gratefully received.

I should also mention that I am seeing a core dump in the journal which I do not see on the working Arch install, though I have no idea whether it has any connection to the problem, since it happens on every boot, so it happens even when the samba connection problem does not happen. And I don't know what connection "colord-sane' could have to a network connection.

Any help?
 
Old 06-12-2017, 03:41 PM   #2
Rickkkk
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Hey ToothandNail ... Quite the sticky problem you have there ... Couple of questions / comments :

- Probably not a problem in your samba config file, since you are sometimes able to connect ... Sounds more like a time-sensitive issue ....

- Do you have the samba shares set up in fstab ? I have found this a reliable way to have access thereafter through either GUI tools such as Thunar or PCManFM or from the command line.

- Does one or both of the Arch installs have entries in the hosts file for the samba server ?


Cheers,

Last edited by Rickkkk; 06-12-2017 at 03:46 PM.
 
Old 06-13-2017, 05:50 AM   #3
toothandnail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickkkk View Post
Hey ToothandNail ... Quite the sticky problem you have there ... Couple of questions / comments :

- Probably not a problem in your samba config file, since you are sometimes able to connect ... Sounds more like a time-sensitive issue ....
I wondered about that, though I've not been able to set up any real way of testing it.

Quote:
- Do you have the samba shares set up in fstab ? I have found this a reliable way to have access thereafter through either GUI tools such as Thunar or PCManFM or from the command line.
No, not at the moment. I'll give that a try and see if it helps. Though it seems somewhat unlikely, since none of the other distros on my laptop have the same problem. I also have the problem in a small network where I often work. Again, it is only this Arch install which fails to connect to the samba shares (though in that network, it isn't an intermittent fault, it always fails). That network is also the one I was working in when the problem first occurred.


Quote:
- Does one or both of the Arch installs have entries in the hosts file for the samba server ?
No. But the samba server is also my DHCP/DNS server, so I doubt that would make any difference. The server certainly knows the host name for the laptop and the host IP.

Just tried to connect. Yesterday I couldn't even get the Windows Network to appear. Today I get the Windows Network icon in Thunar almost instantly, but double clicking it gets me nothing except a timeout error (which takes quite a while to appear...).

Edit: Just added the shares from my local network to fstab. No change - the problem still exists, though the shares can be manually mounted using the fstab entry's

Last edited by toothandnail; 06-13-2017 at 11:40 AM.
 
Old 06-13-2017, 12:43 PM   #4
AwesomeMachine
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It sounds like automount isn't set up correctly. You could specify auto as a mount option in fstab.
 
Old 06-13-2017, 01:37 PM   #5
toothandnail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeMachine View Post
It sounds like automount isn't set up correctly. You could specify auto as a mount option in fstab.
Automount isn't set up at all. I deliberately set the fstab entry as 'noauto'. I'm trying to correct the error in using the gui mount tools (in the case of Xfce, Thunar mounting). I really only use samba mounts for testing purposes in my own network - most of my local network uses nfs, since its purely Linux. Trouble is, I often work in other networks, where samba is the only real option.

I suspect it is a timing problem of some sort, but I don't know how to track the source and fix it. I'm not even sure what back-end programs are used when mounting a samba share via the file manager. gvfs, dbus, but what others? The big problem is that systemd is not logging any sign of the problem, and the samba logs on the server don't show anything useful (I guess because the request times out before it ever gets to the server).

I had a similar problem with Sparky Linux a while ago, but that seemed to be something broken in Debian testing, since it came and went for a few weeks before it was fixed. Difference here is that it used to work, and still does on every other Arch installation that I've got.

I would love to have some way of diagnosing the problem, but so far, I've none at all...
 
  


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