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Old 9th April 2007, 21:10
JoeySpace JoeySpace is offline
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Unhappy Slow network performance reading data


I need help with a Debian Sarge installation showing a bad network performance. I have VMware Server installed and noticed slow network transfer when reading files from a virtual Windows 2000 Server to (non virtual) Windows XP clients. As I was unable to find any problem within the Windows Server I installed Samba on the Debian server and the problem occurs there as well: I am able to write files of about 2 GB size in about 2 minutes (65 to 75 % network utilization) but reading the same file from the same share takes longer than 30 minutes (1.5 % network utilization).

So I assume the Debian server must be the source of the problem. My knowledge to finding such network performance problems on Debian is very limited so I really need help. I have included some details below.

Any hints or links I can follow? Do you need more details?



- The Debian server network card is connected to a 100 MBit/s switch only, not 1 GBit/s!
- the kernel is 2.6.8-2-286

vs01:/home/joe# lspci
0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82865G/PE/P DRAM Controller/Host-Hub Interface (rev 02)
0000:00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82865G/PE/P PCI to AGP Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801 PCI Bridge (rev c2)
0000:00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) LPC Bridge (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) Ultra ATA 100 Storage Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801EB (ICH5) Serial ATA 150 Storage Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)
0000:02:05.0 Ethernet controller: 3Com Corporation 3c940 10/100/1000Base-T [Marvell] (rev 12)
0000:02:09.0 VGA compatible controller: S3 Inc. 86c764/765 [Trio32/64/64V+] (rev 40)
0000:02:0a.0 SCSI storage controller: Adaptec AHA-2940U/UW/D / AIC-7881U

vs01:/home/joe# lshw | less
description: Desktop Computer
product: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
vendor: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
version: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
serial: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
width: 32 bits
capabilities: smbios-2.3 dmi-2.3
configuration: boot=normal chassis=desktop uuid=AC21B4EC-45F9-D711-BDB9-131696D6318F
description: Motherboard
product: P4P800
vendor: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
physical id: 0
version: Rev 1.xx
serial: MB-1234567890
slot: DIMM B2
description: BIOS
vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
physical id: 0
version: 1019.005 (10/14/2004)
size: 64KB
capacity: 448KB
capabilities: isa pci pnp apm upgrade shadowing escd cdboot bootselect socketedrom edd int13floppy1200 int13floppy720 int13floppy2880
int5printscreen int9keyboard int14serial int17printer int10video acpi usb agp ls120boot zipboot biosbootspecification
description: CPU
product: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz
vendor: Intel Corp.
physical id: 4
bus info: cpu@0
version: 15.2.7
slot: CPU 1
size: 2800MHz
capacity: 3600MHz
width: 32 bits
clock: 133MHz
capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse
sse2 ss ht tm pbe cid
configuration: id=0

(...dropped a few lines...)

description: Ethernet interface
product: 3c940 10/100/1000Base-T [Marvell]
vendor: 3Com Corporation
physical id: 5
bus info: pci@02:05.0
logical name: eth0
version: 12
serial: 00:0c:6e:e3:9f:cc
width: 32 bits
clock: 66MHz
capabilities: bus_master cap_list ethernet physical
configuration: broadcast=yes ip= multicast=yes
resources: iomemory:f7ffc000-f7ffffff ioport:e800-e8ff irq:209

vs01:/home/joe# less /etc/network/interfaces
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
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Old 10th April 2007, 12:29
Ben Ben is offline
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So if I got it right, you have an asymetric perfomance, full in uploading, but bad when downloading?

You should check, wether your duplex mode is the same on switchport and server.
If you got a not configurable soho router, afaik the deault is auto. If the port is conifgured to 100Full, you should do the same with your NIC.
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Old 10th April 2007, 18:42
JoeySpace JoeySpace is offline
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>So if I got it right, you have an asymetric perfomance, full in uploading, but bad when downloading?


The switch is not configurable, and yes, the default should be auto.

Using Debian: Where do I see the mode the NIC is in? Ifconfig output doesn't show this. And how do I configure 100Full with Debian?

I temporarily solved the problem by turning off the onboard NIC and using a 100 MBit/s NIC instead. Everything works just fine now.

But I am still interested in the answers to my questions above. I would prefer to use the onboard NIC as the switch might be replaced by a 1 GBit/s one.


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