Wow, finally the light at the end of a tunnel, and come to find out, its all a
cold war ploy.
For a long time on my home server, I've had this "aggravating" problem, that I believe now I'm getting to the bottom of. My "file-server" is a "cast" off machine
running typically debian, and a big hard disk.
I've always had a problem "regardless" of the hardware. The current cast off is really good, its a Pentium 4 with RDRAM ex-gaming machine. So this is antastic hardware for "Debian" or any other linux. With a 120Gig drive, no problem with space.
If you follow Linux history, you will know there is various issues over time with "Large" file support. I've been trying to learn more. All of this swirls in the 4-bit cpu game to add to the entertainment value. Actually big-files (Individual ones) and 64-bit cpu have no relation. The root of the problem is in glibc (C-library) and was solved some time ago. Long as you have the right switch and you application has been compiled recently it will work fine. Just as a test to prove this was not a issue, did a quick dd from /dev/zero, sure enough 11Gigabytes in no time. So we know its not there.
Then went to the next phase, tried doing a dd of a hard disk in my laptop with knoppix to a smb mount. (Wow thats ugly). Should work fine, it does not. Creating a 40G file dies at 2 gig. The samba server dies a poor death. I even tried it with NFS and it dies in a similar fashion.
So now, the big hint comes, whats the problem. Its not the kernel, (See the dd test above) but both NFS and Samba have a issue.
Seems like the hint came from Samba. Debian does not update packages even in unstable or testing it appears very often. Since as well all know updates fix bugs, add features(hmm is it a bug or a feature) routinely. So the samba that I can get from any of the normal repository has samba that is very old. (4 years when the patches first came out). So now let me do the update from binaries provided by Samba, and I bet the problem will disappear. Now a problem I've seen for months will disappear.