ext3 usage guidance

Andreas Dilger adilger at clusterfs.com
Thu Mar 29 09:16:44 UTC 2007

On Mar 28, 2007  18:47 +0100, T. Horsnell wrote:
> 1. The effect on performance of large numbers of (generally) small files
>    One of my ext3 filesystems has 750K files on a 36GB disk, and 
>    backup with tar takes forever. Even 'find /fs -type f -ls'
>    to establish ownership of the various files takes some hours.
>    Are there thresholds for #files-per-directory or #total-files-per-filesystem
>    beyond which performance degrades rapidly?

You should enable directory indexing if you have > 5000 file directories,
then index the directories.  "tune2fs -O dir_index /dev/XXX; e2fsck -fD /dev/XXX"

> 2. I have a number of filesystems on SCSI disks which I would
>    like to fsck on demand, rather than have an unscheduled
>    fsck at reboot because some mount-count has expired.
>    I use 'tune2fs -c 0 and -t 0' to do this, and would like
>    to use 'shutdown -F -r 'at a chosen time to force fsck on
>    reboot, and I'd then like fsck to do things in parallel.
>    What are the resources (memory etc) required for parallel
>    fsck'ing? Can I reasonably expect to be able to fsck say,
>    50 300GB filesystems in parallel, or should I group them into
>    smaller groups? How small?

I think it was at least "(inodes_count * 7 + blocks_count * 3) / 8" per
filesystem when I last checked, but I don't recall exactly anymore.

Cheers, Andreas
Andreas Dilger
Principal Software Engineer
Cluster File Systems, Inc.

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