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I have my RPi media server setup using an external HDD mounted using ntfs-3g (ntfs formatted needs to mount on windows) and Samba to share the drive in the network. Currently, I have 1 client (MacBook Pro, OSX 10.9) that is able to mount the shared drives and access files. This works fine for small files and <720p media content, however when playing a 1080p file from the shared drive playback stutters on my MacBook. I tried VLC, MplayerX and Quicktime all have the same problem on the same file. The file(.mov H264 1920x800, 1536.0kbps) plays fine when copied to my Mac but stutters when playing from the shared drive. Is there any way to speed up the samba performance? I've tried upgrading to a Class 10 SD card but it didn't improve the stuttering.

EDIT: RPi is connected to the network via my router via Gigabit Lan and my Mac is connected to the router via WiFi.

Any advice is much appreciated!

  • can you give us more details please? are you streaming via wifi? – Gotschi Jan 30 '14 at 14:55
  • Sorry about the late reply, yes I am streaming via wifi! – Abhischek Mar 1 '14 at 14:12
  • Have you tried the same but over a wired LAN connection? – nagyben Mar 1 '14 at 23:28
  • what access point are u using for Wi-Fi? – Manny265 Jan 26 '18 at 22:54
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I have found that Samba tends to use up a lot of CPU on the Pi and can actually restrict throughput. Have you tried running top on the Raspberry Pi to monitor CPU resources? Look out for the smbd process. You might need to make sure that there are no other processes using the CPU at the same time. In particular, you might be experiencing some additional CPU overhead through ntfs-3g. If CPU load is an issue you could consider overclocking as well (moderate overclocking will not void your warranty).

If you are streaming to a Mac, I suggest you install the netatalk package to configure AFP shares. In my experience this uses less CPU resources than Samba, and plays nicer with my Mac overall.

sudo apt-get install netatalk
sudo nano /etc/netatalk/AppleVolumes.default

(swap nano with vi or any other preferred editor - the AppleVolumes.default has some instructions on how to define a share)

NFS shares use even less CPU but it is harder to set up on a Mac and probably not worth the effort.

Alternatively you could configure your media player to buffer more data before playing but that would not be addressing the underlying root cause. Unfortunately the sheer amount of data in a 1080p video can strain a Raspberry Pi quite severely.

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As I write in another question, I obtain the best results with this configuration on Samba. Editing smb.conf and adding this on the [global] section:

max xmit = 65535
socket options = TCP_NODELAY IPTOS_LOWDELAY SO_SNDBUF=65535 SO_RCVBUF=65535
read raw = yes
write raw = yes
max connections = 65535
max open files = 65535
  • Please try this configuration and judge by yourself if this speed up your Samba server, at least for multimedia use case. Thanks. – manuti Jan 26 '18 at 22:50

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