Why Snow Leopard still sucks with SAMBA

If anybody tries to tell you that Macs are first class citizens in any network, just give them a mild smile and walk on.

Since the release of Snow Leopard (mac OS X 10.6) many moons ago, connecting to Samba shares constantly causes trouble.

At first, there were really bad problems copying/moving folders or Mac OS X Packages (which in effect are folders) to these shares. If you were lucky, you got an error, if you weren’t, your data was lost. Seems like this problem is solved since 10.6.3.

Now with 10.6.4 the Finder seems to be on drugs all the time. It frequently looses connections to Samba shares, displays the servers but cannot connect to them, and most of the time, the servers are not found automatically. You cannot access them by name, but “GO to Server…” with the IP works. Automatic reconnect on reboot? forget it, it only works 40% of the time…

I don’t remember seeing much of these problems in Leopard (10.5) or Tiger (10.4).

So if you thought the grass is a lot greener on the Mac, let me tell you there’s enough to be improved. And some stuff is not fixed even after more than a year, or each update introduces different problems.

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any OS that doesn’t have “weak spots” (I’m using a term that Steve Jobs has learned by heart a few weeks ago).

Am I alone with these problems?
Has anybody heard of good solutions / hacks / workarounds?
I’d be happy to get some pointers in the comments…

Okay, I’ve typed some of my frustration into my blog, so back to work…


7 thoughts on “Why Snow Leopard still sucks with SAMBA

    1. Mahony, you’re THE Man!

      Thanks a lot. I Just tried with disabled firewall and with enabled Firewall and NetAuthAgent as an exception. Now even Time Machine can mount an SMB share without any problems.
      Is it possible that I had the Firewall disabled (by accident…) and the last 10.6.4 update enabled it…?

      Anyways: you made my day!

      1. Okay, I was too fast. Only Adding NetAuthAgent to the exceptions is not solving all the problems, but disabling the firewall helps. This is, however, not a solution. I’ll play a bit with the firewall settings…

  1. I just tried this tip and it seems to improve the situation at least a litle bit:
    add the app the – System/Library/CoreServices/*NetAuthAgent*
    to your firewall exceptions list.

    1. Hi mahony,

      can you provide a link to the tip you found? I am a bit picky about opening my firewall for any app without some “credible” reference…

  2. I think the situation over the the last 10.6 releases has deteriorated every subrelease. I found it not suitable at all for a decent fileserver anymore, and indeed this was working very fine in 10.5.
    I would be interesting in a fix, workaround but nobody seems to be bothererd.

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