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Old 07-08-2003, 08:48 AM   #1
Paul Johnson
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Samba serving files > 4Gb

I want to back up my Windows 98SE machine onto my Linux box (I've fitted it with a removable hard drive for this purpose). I want to use the Windows backup program because that saves and restores the registry and all the metadata, which smbtar won't do. So I've configured smbd to share a directory on the removable drive and run MS backup on the Windows box writing to a file on the share.

All went well until the backup had completed about 5GB. It then complained it was out of space. From the compression ratio it looks like I've hit a 4Gb limit on filesize.

Is this the case? Does Samba or the underlying SMB protocol impose a 4Gb limit? If so is there any way around this?

I've checked that the ext3 file system supports big files by copying 8Gb from /dev/zero. That was fine.

I can think of a bunch of workarounds, but they are distinctly tedious, so first I want to find out if this is a real problem.


Old 07-08-2003, 09:26 AM   #2
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I though that the ext3 filesystem only supported a file size limit of either 2 or 4 gigs. I believe that jfs or xfs support a file size limit in the terabites. You might want to try them or break up your backup into two or three files.
Old 07-08-2003, 09:46 AM   #3
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I thought there was a max limit on ext2, reiserfs and ext3 of 4Gb on any one file simply because they are 32 bit filesystems. ext3 can handle the 8Gb you threw at it because there was more than one file, I suspect.?

Old 07-08-2003, 02:39 PM   #4
Paul Johnson
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A bit of googling turned up this page:

Its a bit out of date, but it describes the main issues. Main points are:

1: ext2 used to have a 2Gb limit, but not any more. The limit is now 2^63 bytes.

2: Applications need to be recompiled (and maybe modified) to use 64 bit file index and size data types.

3: There is indeed a 4Gb limit on older versions of the SMB protocols. Ahem. This is rather embarassing, since it answers my original question. I did find this page when searching earlier, but failed to scroll down far enough to find the list of file systems and their limits.

So now I'm going to have to do work-arounds. I guess I'll use MS backup for C:\Windows and smbtar for everything else.


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