size of folder on disk much larger than size reported by mail client.

Andreas Winkelmann ml at
Thu Sep 14 02:32:45 EDT 2006

Am Thursday 14 September 2006 07:56 schrieb Warren Howard:

> Hi,
> I've noticed that the size of the folders on disk can be much larger
> than the size reported by the mail client and I'm wondering why.
> I'm using Cyrus-imapd 2.2.12 and the mail client is Squirrelmail 1.4.8
> with the 1.5 version of the Folder Sizes plug-in.
> In Squirrelmail I can use the Folder Sizes plug-in to show that I have a
> folder with a "count" of 17120 and a size of 68 MB.  The folder is a
> shared folder that goes by the name "Postfix users".  On the mail server
> the corresponding disk location (to the best of my knowledge) for this
> folder is "/var/spool/imap/p/Internet\ Mailing\ Lists/Postfix\ users/".
> This directory has 17123 files in it, exactly 17120 (the count reported
> by the Folder Sizes plug-in) plus three additional files cyrus.cache,
> cyrus.header and cyrus.index.  The size of this directory with the three
> additional "cyrus" files is 120 MB - almost twice the size reported by
> the Folder Sizes plug-in for Squirrelmail.  Now cyrus.cache is 24 MB and
> cyrus.index is 1 MB (cyrus.header is tiny 165 bytes), subtracting these
> leaves me with mail message files that add up to 95 MB still 27 MB
> larger than what is reported by the Folder Sizes plug-in.
> I also checked the size of the "Postfix users" using cyradm (in case the
> Folder Sizes plug-in was wrong).
> localhost> info 'Internet Mailing Lists/Postfix users'
> {Internet Mailing Lists/Postfix users}:
>   lastupdate: 14-Sep-2006 10:35:00 +0530
>   partition: default
>   size: 72033301
> so why does cyradm and the Folder Sizes plug-in report a size of 68 MB
> where if I go and check on disk I see the sum of the message files on
> disk is closer to 95 MB?

Please use:

# du -bs --exclude="cyrus.*" /path/to/folder

> Is it a file system thing?  I'm using reiserfs with the following fstab
> options
> /dev/system/var         /var            reiserfs        notail,noatime  0 0
> I'm worried that "notail" and lots of small message files is chewing up
> disk space could it be the case?


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