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

Warren Howard warren_h at
Thu Sep 14 03:27:13 EDT 2006

On 09/14/2006 12:02 PM, Andreas Winkelmann wrote:
> 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

# du -bs --exclude="cyrus.*" /var/spool/imap/p/Internet\ Mailing\
Lists/Postfix\ users/
72457932        /var/spool/imap/p/Internet Mailing Lists/Postfix users/

Normally I use du with the -sh options

du -sh --exclude="cyrus.*" /var/spool/imap/p/Internet\ Mailing\
Lists/Postfix\ users/
95M     /var/spool/imap/p/Internet Mailing Lists/Postfix users/

That's a big difference in the reported size!  I've got no idea why that
might be, and I guess it's now getting a bit off topic for this least,
but thanks for the tip!
>> 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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