RE: [rfc] Near-constant time directory index for Ext2

From: Davide Libenzi (
Date: Wed Feb 21 2001 - 12:21:03 EST

On 20-Feb-2001 Daniel Phillips wrote:
> Earlier this month a runaway installation script decided to mail all its
> problems to root. After a couple of hours the script aborted, having
> created 65535 entries in Postfix's maildrop directory. Removing those
> files took an awfully long time. The problem is that Ext2 does each
> directory access using a simple, linear search though the entire
> directory file, resulting in n**2 behaviour to create/delete n files.
> It's about time we fixed that.
> Last fall in Miami, Ted Ts'o mentioned some ideas he was playing with
> for an Ext2 directory index, including the following points:
> - Fixed-size hash keys instead of names in the index
> - Leaf blocks are normal ext2 directory blocks
> - Leaf blocks are sequental, so readdir doesn't have to be changed

Have You tried to use skiplists ?
In 93 I've coded a skiplist based directory access for Minix and it gave very
interesting performances.
Skiplists have a link-list like performance when linear scanned, and overall
good performance in insertion/seek/delete.

- Davide

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Feb 23 2001 - 21:00:25 EST