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Re: Maildirs in Debian

On Fri, Aug 02, 2002 at 03:53:24PM +1200, John Morton wrote:
> Maildir performance and scalability is dependant on the filesystem. If the 
> filesystem your maildirs live on store small files efficiently, and can list 
> and access files in directories filled with thousands of other small files, 
> no problem (ie Reiserfs), but if not (ie ext2/3), performance will tend to 
> suck. 

ext3 is extremely fast with directories with thousands of files in them. 

$ time ls -al ~/mail/folders/systems/cur/ | wc -l

real    0m0.297s
user    0m0.240s
sys     0m0.050s

$ time ls -al ~/mail/folders/systems/cur/ | wc -l

real    0m31.667s
user    0m0.810s
sys     0m1.020s

Both are 2.4.18 woody systems, the first a PIII 600, the second a dual
PPro 200, both ultra wide scsi 7200rpm disks.

> It's a big ask to have people switch there partitions from one fs to another 
> to get good mail access (especially when mbox and a client implemented index 
> will mitigate the problem), but I believe there are patches for ext2/3 that 
> address the 1000's of files problem that may go into 2.5, so perhaps by the 
> next debian release, this won't be a problem.

I believe the patch to ext3 went in to 2.4 a while back.

> I agree that hacking mail/news software of all kinds to pick there mailbox 
> format based on /etc/defaults/mailbox_format would be remarkably useful.

I can't stand reading my mail on anything other than ext3/maildir ever
since I saw on the mutt mailing list how fast ext3 is on large dirs. I
run my own mail server at work for this reason. maildir is reliable and
ext3 is fast and reliable - I refuse any other combo ;)
The Internet used to be a lot of smart people sitting at dumb terminals,
but now its a lot of dumb people sitting at smart terminals!

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