Quarantine problem: Ext3 directory limit to 32000 files

Jules Field MailScanner at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Mon Aug 9 23:32:39 IST 2010

On 09/08/2010 18:31, Desai, Jason wrote:
>>>> Especially since this guy quarantines more than 32,000 mail per day.
>>>> To delete "old" stuff then is making the users have less than a day to
>>>> retrieve their blocked mail. That's poor service.
>>>> His own suggestion of creating hourly catalogs sounded good to me.
>>> Also keep in mind that 32000 files in a directory will be less efficient
>>> to work through.
>>> Hugo.
> Are you sure there is a limit of 32,000 files in a directory?  I think there is a limit of 32,000 subdirectories.  I'm not sure about 32,000 files though.
The limit is actually 32,000 links to any inode. And I have hit it too. 
It just hasn't caused me a major problem yet.
Unfortunately counting the number of entries in a directory is a slow 
operation (effectively equivalent to an unsorted "ls") so I don't want 
to do it every time I write a file. Which is why I haven't addressed it 

Can you think of any *fast* ways of overcoming this limit? Other 
filesystems such as xfs handle a million or so files in a dir without 
breaking a sweat, it's just a severe limitation of ext3 :-(


Julian Field MEng CITP CEng
Buy the MailScanner book at www.MailScanner.info/store

Need help customising MailScanner?
Contact me!
Need help fixing or optimising your systems?
Contact me!
Need help getting you started solving new requirements from your boss?
Contact me!

PGP footprint: EE81 D763 3DB0 0BFD E1DC 7222 11F6 5947 1415 B654
Follow me at twitter.com/JulesFM

This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.

More information about the MailScanner mailing list