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Samba HowTo Guide
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Large Number of smbd Processes

Samba consists of three core programs: nmbd, smbd, and winbindd. nmbd is the name server message daemon, smbd is the server message daemon, and winbindd is the daemon that handles communication with domain controllers.

If Samba is not running as a WINS server, then there will be one single instance of nmbd running on your system. If it is running as a WINS server, then there will be two instances one to handle the WINS requests.

smbd handles all connection requests. It spawns a new process for each client connection made. That is why you may see so many of them, one per client connection.

winbindd will run as one or two daemons, depending on whether or not it is being run in split mode (in which case there will be two instances).

Samba HowTo Guide
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