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can ext3 directory entries be overwritten? -- Re: extremely slow "ls" on a cleared fatty ext3 directory on FC4/5

Hi, all,

 I'm a newbie to ext3 file system, but what a pity if
ext3 could not shrink after containing files and
subdirectories get deleted.

 If the ext3 directory could not shrink, then another
natural question is: can the deleted directory entries
be overwritten by new files/subdirs? The following is
an example to detail my question:

Suppose a directory named myDir hold 3 files a, b, c.
then the ext3 file system will create 5 entries under
myDir, ".", "..", 'a', 'b', 'c'.

lets say I remove file a and b, then the entries on
et3 will looks as:

 '.', '..', '#a', '#b', 'c'. with '#?' means the file
is delteded.

at last I added three files d ,e,f, which entries
should the ext3 file system create for myDir? case A,
or case B? it looks like case A has better performance
and is not hard to implement. But I'm not sure how
ext3 picks.

case A, '#a', '#b' entries are reused, so only one
more entries are created.

'.', '..', 'd', 'e', 'c', 'f'.

case B, '#a', '#b' are not reused, instead, 3 more
entries are created. so total entries are:

'.', '..', '#a', '#b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f'.

Please help, I'll be more than appreciated if any one
can point out ext3 howtos and introduction links.
Thanks a lot.

--- John Wendel <jwendel10 comcast net> wrote:

> Robinson Tiemuqinke wrote:
> >  Hi,
> >
> >  A stupid flat directory /tmp holding 5 millon
> files, the directory
> >  locates on a ext3 file system with dir_index
> feature turned on. The
> >  running Linux are FC4 and FC5.
> >
> >  The files are just directly under /tmp, not in
> any subdirectories --
> >  they are results of mis-operations of users.
> >
> >  Then a 'ls' or 'find' command will take one hour
> to finish, a lot of
> >  other applications on the computer boxes are
> affected.
> >
> >  I managed to have deleted the files one by one
> with a 'find . |xargs
> >  rm -rf' similar command in about 10 hours. but
> after a file system
> >  sync, it still take me 20 minutes to list the
> cleaned /tmp directory
> >  again -- even now the directory holds only 8
> files total.
> >
> >  so I try to 'ls' the directory itself (not any
> files and
> >  subdirectories on it) and find that its size is
> stupidly large (it is
> >  131M even after deletion) compared with 4K for
> normal directories.
> >
> >  -bash-3.00# ls -alFdh /tmp* drwxrwxrwt  4 root 
> staff 4.0K Aug 12
> >  23:17 new_tmp/ drwxrwxrwt  4 root  staff 131M Aug
> 12 20:30 tmp/
> >
> >  Anyone know why the former fatty directory still
> looks unchanged and
> >  takes hours to traverse even after 99.999999%
> files got removed?
> >
> >  If there are any ways to fix this kind of problem
> without rebooting
> >  machine? I'm afraid of the commands "rsync -avHn
> /tmp/ /new_tmp/; rm
> >  -rf /tmp/ && mv /new_tmp/ /tmp" because other
> applications are
> >  accessing /tmp/ as well.
> >
> >  Please help. Thanks a lot.
> EXT3 directories grow but they don't shrink.
> Rebooting won't fix this 
> problem.
> The only fix that I know is to delete the old
> directory and create a new 
> one.
> BTW, XFS automatically shrinks directories (but has
> its own set of 
> problems).
> Regards,
> John
> -- 
> fedora-list mailing list
> fedora-list redhat com
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