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I have a laptop running an Arch-based Linux system and frequently need to access a windows share at my workplace. This is really annoying since it takes ages to load. Particularly, one folder is really bad where >5000 pdf files are stored (>10 GB). I have to browse this folder frequently since it contains literature for my work. My RAM is limited (4 GB) and the performance of my laptop is really down while it takes an hour or so to more or less fully load this folder...

Is there any way to circumvent this problem ie. increase the performance? I don't need to load every file in this folder, I just want to browse the names and pick one file or so. I am not familiar with how this would work but isn't there a way to just load the file list? Preferably, I would like to do this in a GUI.

I cannot change the folder structure nor the windows share.

Furter specifications:

  • My system: Manjaro 18.0.2.
  • Access of the windows share via Nemo (when accessed via terminal it went unresponsive as well!)
  • Mount point of the share is in my home folder.
  • Access of the windows share is via the University VPN and I am using it from work and from home.
  • I reduced the swapiness of my system to 10

fstab info

I load the windows share with the following specifications in my fstab:

/path/to/windows/share  /home/user/WindowsShare cifs vers=3.0,users,credentials=/home/user/.smbcredentials,uid=1000,gid=1000 0 0 
  • Note that ls etc. usually try to sort files, and doesn't do so very efficiently. What happens if you access (e.g. cp) a file using the full file name from the terminal? That shouldn't be slow, unless something else is wrong. For browsing, could you store file listing as a text file on your laptop, or does this share change often? – dirkt Jan 3 at 19:04
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    Good idea! I will try to get the file list to my computer (it is not often changing). Thanks :) – bamphe Jan 3 at 19:09
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    But still, it takes ages if I just cd into the folder and then try to cp with suggestions... – bamphe Jan 3 at 19:10
  • That's why I said "full file name". "Suggestions" will again try to read the whole directory... So don't cd, remember the file name. – dirkt Jan 3 at 19:13
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    How is the Windows share mounted on your laptop? CIFS? gvfs? – fra-san Jan 3 at 19:20

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