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Re: [PATCH 3/3] find: take advantage of new gnulib/fts leaf-optimization

From: James Youngman
Subject: Re: [PATCH 3/3] find: take advantage of new gnulib/fts leaf-optimization
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2009 22:04:29 +0000

On Sat, Dec 27, 2008 at 11:42 AM, Jim Meyering <address@hidden> wrote:

> If find were to apply this same technique, it would make the
> -noleaf predicate a no-op.
> FYI, when I run the modified find on a reiserfs-backed 1.6M-file maildir
> hierarchy, it takes only 80 seconds (2.6.26, athlon64 3400+, 2yr-old disk),
> while using the latest unmodified find, at over 16 minutes, it takes 12
> times as long.
> I'll post again when I have an fts patch implementing
> the approach outlined above.

This performance improvement is impressive and welcome.   I very much
hope that we can end up with this improvement, or something like it,
without introducing a bug.

I'd like to point out two potential problems though:

1. Some versions of Linux have bugs in the implementation of various
handlers in the /proc filesystem that lead st_nlinks to be misleading.
 I've reported a couple of these over the years.  I have no mechanism
for detecting such bugs in released kernel versions (not least since
some parts of /proc only exist on some architectures or if some
hardware is present or if some feature is available). A recent example
of this is described at
<http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2008/08/msg00972.html>.  I'm
mostly happy to write these cases off as kernel bugs that should be
fixed.  However, if we end up using some kind of filesystem whitelist,
Linux's proc filesystem should be excluded.

2. There exist other filesystems where (st_links - (0 or 2)) <
(subdirectory count).   The only example I can think of offhand is
AFS.   There is some incomplete information at


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