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ext3 filesystem performance issues



I'm wondering at what point ext3 starts having issues with number of files
in a directory.

For instance, will any of the utilities fail (ls, mv, chown etc) if you
have more than x files in a directory?

At what point does things really start slowing down?

I was told by a coworker that all UNIX varieties have to do an ordered
list search when they have to preform any operations on a directory.  They
also stated that if there is more than 100k files in a directory, these
tools would fail.

This seems like a low number to me but I was looking for some expert
analysis.  :)

Thanks
Will




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