While the good folks over at the Ubuntu Guide have a generic section on how to mount Samba shares, I found that I was having a number of problems including connection time-outs, authentication issues, and the lovely kernel smbiod 100% CPU issue. I went scouring through bug reports on Launchpad, googling for how-to’s, forum searching, etc.. Basically all of my search results report similar issues but nothing about the root cause.

And then I found the root issue and resolution digging through 2006 kernel devel logs from almost a year ago. Generally, all the guides on the internet and our forums tell you to use the venerable smbfs. What I didn’t realize is that smbfs is not actively being developed any longer. All of the new development is (and has been for some time now) focused on the newer CIFS driver. Indeed in the text for 2.6.17 there is even a comment that smbfs is depreciated and is slated for removal.

So, if you mount a windows share via smbfs, consider changing it to cifs. e.g. in fstab:

//ip-or-hostname/MUSIC /media/music cifs user,noauto,credentials=/home/joey/.smbcredentials,uid=joey 0 0

This fixed all of my issues and it may fix yours as well.

ps. The fusers out there might be wondering why I didn’t mention fusesmb. It’s a fantastic solution for people without authentication that are familiar with fuse. It did not, however, work for my authenticated shares on my samba server. It also is missing some features for the average user and, as of this post, it has not been updated for almost a year. I do hope that further development on fusesmb does happen because it has a lot of potential.