Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3378 mails)

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Re: [SLE] Raiserfs and enhanced performance in email server
  • From: Monte Milanuk <milanuk@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 16:06:11 -0700
  • Message-id: <20020429160611.7aa41c6f.milanuk@xxxxxxxxx>
On 29 Apr 2002 19:11:13 +0100
Ewan Leith <ewan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Reiserfs uses a very different filesystem architecture from ext2 and
> other filesystems, which makes it much much quicker at handling small
> files (its performance on large files is good, but not amazing).

I hate to spoil your party, but my experience does not bear this out.

I use sylpheed for a mail client. It uses MH style mail handling, in
which every individual email in a given folder is a separate file. Hence,
on high volume mailing lists like suse-linux-e, for example, many, many
small files. Thousands if I'm not diligent about purging old ones. For a
while, I had an elaborate archive system set up to keep old messages,
sorted by month, because once the number of messages gets up to 10k or so,
performance really starts to drag as far as opening and closing folders.
The normal 3-4k/month level allows sylpheed to zip right along, w/ only a
couple second delay opening or closing a folder w/ 3k+ messages in it.
This is on a Celeron 266 w/ 128MB RAM, IDE HD, running XFCE for a desktop
to conserve resources.

When I first started using sylpheed, I was running RedHat 7.1 or 7.2, on
an ext3 /home. I switched back to SuSE 7.3, and changed to reiserfs.
Major performance **HIT**. To put it in perspective, where before I was
able to run XFCE as the WM, galeon w/ about 8-10 tabs open, sylpheed, pan,
The Gimp, several rxvt windows, one running dnetc ( client)
and another running top, the others running ssh connections to other
machines, w/ no performance problems (other than it being a Celeron 266 :(
), now sylpheed ran slower when it was **the only application** running.

I am not alone in this observation. I thought I was on drugs, had done
something wrong setting up my system, something. Then I noticed on the
sylpheed mailing list, that the creator/maintainer of sylpheed had noticed
the same thing. His solution at the time was to stop using ReiserFS for
the directory where his folders were stored, and go back to ext2/3. I
changed back, and noticed a jump in performance. Right now, my machine
has ReiserFS for the local hard drive, but the small LAN server that I use
has /home exported, and it is formatted w/ ext3.

Perhaps it is sylpheed's fault, though I kind of doubt it. It uses a mail
system (MH) that is intentionally designed to deal w/ lots of small files.

I just tire of seeing people quoting that ReiserFS is supposed to be so
great at handling lots of small files, and saying that such-n-such
'benchmark' says so. Theory-to-practice says otherwise, as far as I'm



All right, breaks over. Back on your heads!!

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