limit to number of files seen by ls?

Karl Vogel vogelke+unix at
Thu Jul 30 18:10:38 UTC 2009

>> Karl Vogel wrote:

K> The main reason I stick with 1000 is because directories are read
K> linearly unless you're using something like ReiserFS...

>> On Sun, 26 Jul 2009 08:34:50 +0100, 
>> Matthew Seaman <m.seaman at> said:

M> You mean filesystems like FreeBSD UFS2 with DIRHASH?  The problem with
M> linear time scanning of directory contents has been solved for awhile...

   Sure, that's why I said "something like".  Not everyone is using the
   latest and greatest, especially if you have anything to do with the
   public sector.  It's not unusual to see people using servers that
   are 8-10 years old and run around the clock, and they can't upgrade
   because they're not allowed the downtime.

   I'm not saying we should act like everyone's using the moral equivalent
   of FreeBSD 2.2.7.  I am saying that if you have a design decision to
   make, you'll solve more problems than you cause if you add the extra
   2-3 lines of code to hash a huge directory into several smaller ones.

Karl Vogel                      I don't speak for the USAF or my company

Since we have to speak well of the dead, let's knock them while they're alive.
                                                                 --John Sloan

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