Determine the SMB version you use to connect to the Research Data Storage Service (RDSS)

Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is a communication standard that computers use to share access to files, printers and other resources on a network. Specifically, we use it to connect to shares on the Research Data Storage Service (RDSS) and fsmresfiles. The various versions (SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3) are referred to as dialects. The RDSS server currently supports all three dialects. Your system also supports one or all these dialects.

Knowing which dialect you use to connect to RDSS is important because SMBv1 lacks the following features

  • It will not reconnect automatically if you are disconnected due to server maintenance or lost network connection.
  • It does not support encryption, leaving your computer open to ransomware and other types of cyberattacks.

We recommend disabling SMBv1 if you can. This document describes  

  • how to find out if system supports SMBv2/3,  
  • how to check what dialect you’re using to connect to RDSS, and  
  • what to do if you're using SMBv1.  

Does my system support SMBv2/3? 

Many systems support multiple SMB dialects to increase compatibility with servers they need to connect to. Which SMB dialects are supported is determined by the operating system version on Mac and Windows and by the samba package version on Linux systems. 

Systems running the following software support SMBv1 only. 

If your system only supports SMBv1, we recommend upgrading your operating system or samba version to enable a newer SMB dialect if possible. Be sure to check that upgrading will not affect compatibility with software and instruments you need to use for your research. 

What version of SMB am I using to connect to RDSS? 

Your system typically uses the most current SMB dialect that both your machine and the server have in common. However, newer dialects may be disabled, preventing them from being used. The following system-specific instructions will show you how to determine which version of SMB you are using to connect to RDSS. If you are using major version 2 or 3, no action is necessary. 




What should I do if I'm using SMBv1? 

  • If your system only supports SMBv1, consider upgrading your operating system or samba package if possible. Be sure to check that upgrading will not affect compatibility with software and instruments you need to use for your research. 
  • If your system supports other SMB dialects, contact for advice on how to configure your machine to use a more current version. 

Need Help?

For help using RDSS, email

Also see our Research Data Management Guide for links to all of our help articles.

Research Data Management Support at Northwestern University

Research computing data services partners with the Office for Research, University Libraries and Galter Health Sciences Library to provide research data management support throughout the research process. Please see the Research Data Management and Sharing page for more information

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Article ID: 2314
Thu 5/11/23 2:31 PM
Fri 4/12/24 11:12 AM

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RDSS provides secure on-premise data storage for researchers.