ext3 / XFS [Was: Re: Does anyone allow unlimited or extremely large quotas?]

Robert Mueller robm at fastmail.fm
Tue Nov 16 17:45:57 EST 2010

> > This is depends on what filesystem you are useing, I have mailboxes with hundreds 
> > of thousands of messages in them on XFS and have no problems, but on ext3 I 
> > start seeing slowdowns with a bit over ten thousand messages.
> Was dir_index enabled on that ext3 filesystem?  Prior to dir-index ext3
> was very slow for large folders. dir_index is not enabled by default in
> ext3.

FYI our experience at Fastmail 2 years back was that reiserfs still much
better than ext3 (even with dir_index) at handling large numbers of
files in folders. We tried switching one server to ext3, but after a
week or two it was being crushed by load and we switched back to

However we've recently found that ext4 is at least as good as reiserfs
at handling large directories, so we've started switching everything to
ext4 and so far the migration is going well.

So don't use ext3, but ext4 is ok.

Oh, and we recently setup a spare machine with btrfs and tried
replicating a few partitions to it. That wasn't good. Started off
promising, but by the time it was 1/3 full, the machine was utterly
crawling. Clearly not ready for production yet.


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