Finally fixing AFP vs SMB on MacOS


OK, we know that AFP is not a reliable long term protocol. When I try to do a long running rsync for instance, it fails after a few hours. What you want is to use SMB but it isn’t easy to force it. There are two ways that both involve some hackery:

  1. Remove all AFP references in your keychain. Legacy-wise, if you have used older version of MacOS before SMB became standard, you are going to have keychain entries. Start Keychain Access and search for your file server and look at the network password entries. If they say something like afp://aftpovertcp._tcplocal._yourserver_.local then Finder will default to the Apple file protocol and not Server Message Block. So you need to delete those entries.
  2. One of the easy ways to tell is to right click on the icon in your Finder, if it comes up with a picture of a piece of hardware without the notation AFP, then you are in good shape.
  3. To make sure this works, after you login and have your password, you can check your Keychain Access and see something like smb://_yourserver_._smb._tcp.local

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