I am running Raspbian and as of this afternoon have update'd and upgrade'd.

I am using my Raspberry Pi (2) as a Samba (apt-get install samba) 24/7 server/torrent box. Everything on the Pi itself is running smoothly.

When trying to stream media from the Pi, my Mac (mid 2014 Retina MacbookPro, SSD, 16 GB RAM) absolutely hates it. Finder ends up crashing beyond recovery. It won't "relaunch" or open at all after stopping a video stream to VLC. When trying to reboot my Mac gets stuck and I have to shut it down by force (different question altogether). The stream constantly stutters (after maybe 2 mins of trying to open at all); I am unable to stream even a 720p mkv file. I cannot tell where the bottleneck is coming from.

My USB HDD is ext4 and older but I'm confident that's not the issue. I'm currently connecting to the Pi with smb:// protocol, but read that cifs:// protocol might be faster. However, I get the same results, possibly even worse with cifs. Navigating the file system is a little laggy, but nothing out of the ordinary. Trying to copy a file to my Mac kills Finder again.

What complicates things is that on my iPad mini, I use the FileExplorer app and things work perfectly fine. It takes no time to open and streaming very, very rarely stutters.

I don't have any Windows machines, so I can't compare it to that. I'm running OS X 10.11.3. I read a couple threads, namely this one to see if there's anything I can do to boost performance.

Is there anything I can do to speed things up with Samba? Should I try a different protocol? Would just a normal FTP connection be better? Thanks for the advice!

  • If you don't use Windows why use Samba. It doesn't even work well on Windows. Try afp - install netatalk on the Pi.
    – Milliways
    Apr 8, 2016 at 11:09
  • I have the exact same setting as you, everything works fine for me. Did you mount your volume to local on mac?
    – user44623
    Apr 8, 2016 at 16:35
  • @doodle yeah, it mounts to /Volumes/.
    – Grant
    Apr 9, 2016 at 1:47
  • @Milliways I'll check it out, thanks for the advice
    – Grant
    Apr 9, 2016 at 1:47
  • @Milliways wow, there's no comparison. If you want to write up an answer, I'll give it to you
    – Grant
    Apr 9, 2016 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


If you don't need to communicate with Windows why use Samba.

Try afp - install netatalk on the Pi.

In addition to improved performance it is natively supported by Finder.

There are a couple of drawbacks.

By default it maps your Home directory, although others can be added.

I have never been able to get afp to share the Pi root directory. In this case I use ssh to transfer files on the Pi itself.

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