atom feed5 messages in com.redhat.ext3-usersRe: inode limit ?
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Douglas BruntonOct 25, 2001 9:37 am 
Bryan-TheBS-SmithOct 25, 2001 9:49 am 
Andreas DilgerOct 25, 2001 10:13 am 
Stephen C. TweedieOct 25, 2001 12:12 pm 
Jiri KrejcikOct 26, 2001 3:27 am 
Subject:Re: inode limit ?
From:Andreas Dilger (
Date:Oct 25, 2001 10:13:21 am

On Oct 25, 2001 12:49 -0400, Bryan-TheBS-Smith wrote:

Douglas Brunton wrote:

27 gig ext3 / partition. The problem that I am experiencing is this: If I create more than (about) 3.5 million distinct files on the partition, touch, mkdir, cp and all other file creation methods complain that there is no available space on the disk.

Let's see here, 27GB w/1 node per 8KB (default) = 3.5M inodes.

Yes, just to emphasize, if you create files with an average size of less than 8kB, you will run out of inodes before you run out of blocks. Since this is an unusual situation, most people don't have such a problem.

In the 2.2 kernel there was a way to adjust the max-inodes at runtime by adjusting the values in /proc/sys/fs/max-inodes file, but I don't see this file with the 2.4.7-10 kernel that shipped with 7.2 (and I can't create it, even as root).

I was under the impression that on Ext2 (and Ext3), inodes were pre-allocated? And you must specify additional inodes as mkfs-time???


I think your filesystem needs to be reformatted with additional inodes. Unless, of course, newer Ext2/Ext3 versions can re-allocate them?

Yes, unfortunately, there is not much that can be done in this case. If you know that the average file size will remain this small (e.g. a news spool), you need to rebuild the filesystem with more inodes (doing a backup/restore if the files are important). There are several ways to specify more inodes at filesystem creation time:

mke2fs -i 4096 <dev> # one inode per 4kB instead of default 8kB mke2fs -N 4000000 <dev> # create at least 4M inodes mke2fs -T news <dev> # same as using -i 4096

If your average filesize is much less than 4kB, you could also use smaller disk blocks to store them more compactly:

mke2fs -b 2048 -i 2048 <dev> # average filesize <= 2kB mke2fs -b 1024 -i 1024 <dev> # average filesize <= 1kB

Note that with so many small files in such a large disk, you may have performance problems if there are lots of files in a single directory (the indexed-directory patch is not in ext2 or ext3 yet). I hate to say it, but depending on what you are doing, you may be better off in this case to use reiserfs. It is a bit less reliable than ext3 (IMHO) but handles strange setups like this better.

Cheers, Andreas