Recommended newfs settings for 600GB mail (maildir) store?

Bill Moran wmoran at
Wed Aug 20 14:32:32 UTC 2008

In response to Chris St Denis <chris at>:

> I recently created a new mail server with a 600GB raid5 partition to 
> store maildirs. When I created it, I used a newfs -i 4096 but when I had 
> recent hardware problems the background FSCK took a very long time, and 
> I'm concerned that the -i 4096 may have made that a lot worse.
> So I ask. What newfs settings do you recommend for a 600GB partition 
> dedicated to maildirs?

Our Maildir partition was created with the default -i setting (which
comes out to -i 8192 on this partition) and we have ~50% of the space
filled and ~25% of the inodes used.  It's not the biggest Maildir
store on the planet, but I suspect it's a pretty decent representation
of mail usage.  Based on that, I don't think you need a lower value
for -i, and you might even be safe to bump it up higher than the
default, perhaps to 6 * frag size.

If this improves fsck performance, as Oliver suggested, then it may
be worth it.

However, fsck time on 600G is going to be long no matter what you do.
Just be glad we have background fsck.

Bill Moran

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