Apple’s OS X Mavericks rollout, though not perfect, has been pretty darned smooth. Of the relatively few issues that pop up repeatedly, the Mavericks SMB2 connection problem is perhaps the most vexing. Although there isn’t fix yet, there are workarounds.
The issue likely stems from the fact that Apple has made major changes to how computers connect to each other in OS X 10.9. Specifically, with Mavericks, Apple is transitioning away from the AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) and SMB1 protocols in favor of the SMB2 standard used in Windows and Linux.
Yes, AFP and SMB1 are both still in Apple’s network stack, for compatibility with older machines, but SMB2 is now the default.
Whereas I’ve been hearing about Mavericks SMB2 + Linux connection issues from friends, others are reporting that problem is more general:
“In my case, I got the double foul. My NAS tried to mount forever and failed; same with a Windows 8 PC on my network,” writes Mel Martin, TUAW. “The cause appears to be changes made in the networking stack made by Apple. Apple’s SMB2 implementation doesn’t work with a lot of SMB2 devices — even networked drives from Windows machines.”
Mavericks SMB2: Working It Out
Again, although there isn’t a fix yet available for these problems, Michael Larsen has written up the issue, as well as a work around:
Issue: Clients logging into File Services over SMB with OS X 10.9 experience hanging connection upon login attempt.
Root Cause: OS X 10.9 now utilizes a new SMB2 stack written by Apple. Apple’s SMB2 implementation is not compatible with many other SMB2 NAS products on the market today while Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 works just fine. In short, its an Apple bug.
Workaround: To force your connection to be SMB1, simply type cifs://servername instead of smb://servername when connecting to a Windows or NAS share.
Larsen notes that a quick restart before trying this Mavericks SMB2 connectivity workaround could be helpful in that it will purge any hung processes that could bugger things up.
Larsen also spells out a more permanent workaround that forces a Mac to always connect using SMB1. That method requires a bit of command line voodoo, which is described in full on his site.
Know of a better Mavericks SMB2 connection workaround or even a fix? Share it and a link in the comments below…