Confused over CIFS

NoOp glgxg at
Mon Jan 12 17:57:49 UTC 2009

On 01/12/2009 12:53 AM, Christopher Chan wrote:
>>>> I know historically there were two implementations, and I also know
>>>> that's not true in Hardy.
>>> Basically what I explained but which you did not make clear in your posts.
>> You explained no such thing.  You said "yes they are" separate
>> implementations (in Hardy).
> Heh. Did I not now? You asked the OP about the version of Ubuntu. That 
> question was never answered. Nowhere was Hardy brought into the thread 
> except for my post where I said:
> "Hardy kernels no longer have the smbfs module. They only have the cifs
> module. They are separate implementations.
> smbfs does not support sec= and has been DROPPED from the mainline
> kernel. It does not even enjoy deprecated status now. But it did exist
> and you will still find in 7.x I believe.
> cifs is the only module available going forward from now but nobody has
> updated documentation or made it know that smbfs ain't around anymore
> and some specific smbfs behaviour that the cifs does not support has
> already bitten a few."
> So there being no previous mention of Hardy, talk about smbfs and cifs 
> modules has not been clearly limited to what is available only on Hardy.
> You said: "The mount.smbfs in Ubuntu is just a wrapper over mount.cifs."
> I, therefore, feel free to point out that smbfs and cifs are different 
> modules and different implementations in previous kernels which I point 
> out in the second paragraph in the quotation above because that would 
> the case in versions of Ubuntu before Hardy.
> People have been burned already using smbfs syntax in Hardy so you 
> cannot really call mount.smbfs a 'separate interface'. It looks more 
> like a half-baked wrapper attempt at backwards compatibility.
> You can go on and try to spin this all you like. I did point out that 
> Hardy only has the cifs module, that there was a smbfs module and that 
> should be available in 7.x versions of Ubuntu (okay, this is not 
> particularly clear but Hardy being '8.x' should have got the message 
> across).

Ummm... not sure who's right or wrong in all of this, but for what it's
worth here's what I've dug up:

Yes, smbfs hasn't been maintained by
The cifs and smbfs file systems can coexist on the same system and do
not conflict.

But in the case of Ubuntu:


$ man mount.smbfs

will get you:

intrepid (8) - mount.cifs.8.gz
Provided by: smbfs_3.2.3-1ubuntu3_i386

Ditto for man smbmount.

That is because, as Matthew pointed out, mount.smbfs actually uses

Also see:
note: you can change /hardy/ to /intrepid/ for the intrepid man page.

which is included in the smbfs package:

cat /usr/share/lintian/overrides/smbfs
smbfs: setuid-binary sbin/mount.cifs 4755 root/root
smbfs: setuid-binary sbin/umount.cifs 4755 root/root

and there appears to be no separate cifs package/module:

Of possible interest for the OP/Ted:
Note the reference in the page: " For  a  more  thorough  description,
see" That link is actually to an online book
'Implementing CIFS' & is well worth reading/reviewing.


As for using CIFS for large file transfers; CIFS is used in HPC's (High
Performance Clusters):

I don't have an answer to your original question, but I often tranfer
7GB DVD files between my 8.04 system and a WinXPP machine without
issues. Maybe I've just been lucky so far.

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