Poor performance on Mac OS (but good on Linux and Windows - with same setup)

Dear community,

I tested and examined many things but couldn’t find a solution, yet…

Short: Poor performance on Mac OS (but good on Linux and Windows - with same setup)

Setup: digiKam 7.8, MySQL DB, one central share (samba) as album on Linux server

Long story:
I’m using digiKam for many years now (both on Linux and Windows with the same MySQL DB).
Since I got a MacBook Air M1 in the year 2021, also on Mac OS. But I always had a drawbacks with poor performance. Meanwhile I can use digiKam for browsing photos and tagging… But when I try to read new images it is slow as hell and freezes after a minute. Therefore I had to disable “auto-update” on start of digiKam.

Researches on the Internet figured out, that Mac OS and Samba/CIFS are not the best friends. Therefore I made a second share with NFS. But the performance doesn’t get better (in digiKam).

I searched and tested since 2021 very much, but nothing really helped.
My workflow is actually to update the database on Linux (and/or with a digiKam on Docker). But this helps not with the other performance issues (freezing UI) while using digiKam on Mac…

Any thoughts, ideas, hints… ?

Hi @patschworld

maybe you already know, but there is a new 8.2.0 release that maybe worth test as you are currently use the 7.8,

I was in a similar situation - Linux workstation and Macbook AIr - trying to share everything over network was bit frustrated.

My current setup is mainly managed with a Linux workstation, images are local and db is local. I’m relying on sidecar files and you can read here my suggestion in another topic.

I use a NAS also as backup the folder with all the images.

Whenever I want to use the macbook to browse the archive I can use digikam with a local db on the macbook that is reading the xmp from the shared folder on my NAS. This obsiously can be slow if the connection is not fast, but in my experience once you have synced everything, then it works quite nicely. If you want to perform some tasks like updating tags for example, then you can just write them on the sidecar file and that’s it.

I gave up trying to work on a network shared folder, it doesn’t work unless you have 10gbe connection or a specific need (e.g. lot of images, multiple users, different setups etc etc).

Hi @boredphoto,

thanks for your thoughts and experience and sharing your workflow :slight_smile:

Sure, I will try 8.2.
Because this problems exists for every Version of digiKam since 2021, I guess it does not rely on a specific digiKam Version.

I also didn’t find out which component does the “handbrake”. The OS, digiKam, the MySQL driver, …
When I access the files via the filebrowser everything works smooth. Also my RAW processing with Luminar Neo works with no freezes (working on the network share)…


In your searching did you find this?? Improving the Speed of Digikam using MySQL - Super Tech Crew

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Hi @AdmFubar,

Thanks for the hint.

Not this special article, but other posts about performance tuning for MySQL for digiKam.

I already increased the packet size (in the past).

Using a socket as connection isn’t possible, because the MySQL database backend is on a dedicated server. I searched a little bit, and while it should be possible to make use of sockets with a remote server (the tool is called socat), the performance isn’t that good (it will still use TCP to bridge the gap).

I was also on the track of MySQL optimizationn as it can’t get worse, even better. But for digiKam on Mac it wasn’t the problemsolver.
Also the idea Wifi vs. wired LAN connection didn’ solve the problem.

check here as well

Thanks @AdmFubar !

I checked this and made a iperf3 test → Seems to be good enough imho.
Also found an interessting article about optimizing Samba for MacOS (latest update 2022 on the Samba Wiki page): https://forums.unraid.net/topic/146818-optimal-samba-settings-to-get-better-macos-to-unraid-performance/Configure Samba to Work Better with Mac OS X - SambaWiki

Also I made an Update to digiKam 8.2 and made some “new” (“new” because tested that month/years ago the last time) experience.

  • Actually testing NFS share (not SAMBA)
  • When I choose the way Menu → Tools → Maintenance → Scan for new items while selected specific album paths, scans are done really fast.

This could be a “workaround” on MacOS for me, as I know, which places to scan for new items.
I will monitor this and report here. (Currently there is nothing to update/scan right now…)

Glad I got you pointed in the right direction… keeps posted on the progress/workings of this.

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