Samba 4.1.0 was the first release to ship with support for server-side copy operations via the SMB2 FSCTL_SRV_COPYCHUNK request. Clients making use of server-side copy support, such as Windows Server 2012, can experience considerable performance improvements for file copy operations, as file data need not traverse the network. This feature is enabled by default on the smbd file server.
Traditional File Copy
Prior to Samba 4.1.0, clients traditionally copied files by reading the source file data over the network and writing it back to the server through to the destination file on disk.
With Samba 4.1.0 and later, clients can offload copy operations to the server using Copy-Chunk requests. In processing such a request, the network round-trip is avoided.
Samba's smbd file server supports SMB2 Copy-Chunk requests by default, no additional configuration is required.
Btrfs Enhanced Server-Side Copy
Along with server-side copy support, a Btrfs specific Samba VFS Module was newly added with 4.1.0. This module improves the performance and efficiency of server-side copy operations on Btrfs backed shares, by using the Btrfs clone-range IOCTL.
Btrfs enhanced server-side copy can be enabled in smb.conf on a per share basis with:
[share] path = /mnt/btrfs_fs/ # must reside within a Btrfs filesystem vfs objects = btrfs
- The client's FSCTL_SRV_COPYCHUNK server-side copy request must be Btrfs filesystem aligned
- Otherwise, Samba falls back to a regular server-side copy
Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, and later releases support SMB2 FSCTL_SRV_COPYCHUNK server-side copy operations. On these platforms, Windows explorer initiated file copies attempt server-side copy offload by default. Preliminary patches have been proposed for the Linux Kernel CIFS client. Server-side copy offload is initiated on Linux using cp --reflink.