In Finder, if I try to move a file from two different remote SMB share that are hosted on the same machine, the file first gets downloaded to my local machine, and then uploaded to the remote target folder.

Consequently, it takes a ton of time to move remove files.

Is there a way to move the files without first them implicitly copied to my local machine? Is there something that would work better than Finder for this?

This is on OSX 10.8.2. Windows or Linux (or both, I forget which OS) moves the files remotely.

  • To clarify, you're moving a file from one directory to another, within the same SMB share? In my tests (using 10.7 and a Linux server running Samba), there's no copying between my Mac and the server. It simply instructs the remove machine to move the file, no copying locally or anything. Can you give more information about your set up, so we can determine why this is happening? – robmathers Nov 13 '12 at 22:19
  • Ah yes, good point. I am moving files between two different shares which are residing on the same machine. I edited my question accordingly. – surjikal Nov 14 '12 at 2:40

If you're moving between two different shares, even if they're on the same host, there's no way to avoid the local copy, without changing your configuration.

From the Mac's point of view, the shares are two distinct entities. Even though the hostname/IP is the same, there's no way for the OS to match up the directory tree of one share with the other, let alone a command for the SMB server to move files in that sort of instance.

From a practical standpoint, I can think of three ways to work around the local copying:

  • Change the server's configuration so you have one share that encompasses the source and destination.
  • Log in remotely to the server via SSH or some form of remote desktop and perform the move directly on the server.
  • Access the server via a different method, such as FTP. For this to work you of course need FTP access to both the source and destination paths in one host, otherwise you're back at square one.

I'm not even aware if SMB has a command to let a client request the server do lifting in band, but the tool that I use for doing this sort of thing over SFTP is Transmit by Panic. Sadly, it doesn't have it's own SMB client and instead uses Finders so any speedups it could provide would be in cacheing data and filesystem metadata and not by eliminating the round trip to move a file that is on one SMB share.

There is a free evaluation available from http://www.panic.com/transmit/ in case you don't get a better solution and perhaps could get ssh/sftp access to the same files so you can send move and zip commands remotely to speed up these file maintenance changes from a remote location.

  • I actually tried Transmit before posting here, but it doesn't play nice with my server for some reason: When I try to transfer files between the two shares, I keep getting a "Command Failed" error. – surjikal Nov 14 '12 at 2:50
  • Grr - it's not looking like you'll be able to dodge this one... Hopefully you can get an account on the server and can use RDC or something else to move things if you have to do this often. – bmike Nov 14 '12 at 3:06

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