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2.4.20 and htree

Apologies for the newbie question:

I have a (stock) 2.4.20 build (*not* -ac), and I'm trying to work with
large ext3 directories. By large, I mean 160,000 files per directory. (Yes,
I know it would be better in nested directories but such is life).

I feel htree would benefit me. Close reading of the 2.4 changelog suggests
that htree isn't in there - only a patch to prevent non-htree builds
reporting corruption after being written to by an htree build. Did I read
this right?

If I am right, where is the best place to get a consolidated ext3 patch
which is suitable for a production environment? If indeed such a thing

And once I have htree in the kernel, does it 'automatically' produce the
benefits on existing directories, or do I need to go through some on-disk
process to get the directory held 'in htree form'? I believe I just need to
tune2fs and switch dir_index on. But to get the performance increase, do I
need to make it go and index all those large directories (somehow?). Or
does it do that automatically?

And if it all goes wrong, can my filesystem still be read by ext2, or ext3
without the directory index patch? I /think/ the answer is yes, provided it
has the back-compatibility patch in? (and might be 'yes' on other occasions

Alex Bligh

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