Quarantine problem: Ext3 directory limit to 32000 files

Peter Farrow peter at farrows.org
Tue Aug 10 00:06:14 IST 2010

On 09/08/2010 23:32, Jules Field wrote:
> 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 before.
> 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 :-(
> Jules

or if your brave, convert it to ext4 on the fly with a command like this:

|tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/<device>


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