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I would suggest a couple of things: test it out first by making a directory with 100,000 or so files in it and see if it works very well. Also, think about making the directory structure hierarchical in some way. You will notice that machines with many users do this with the first two characters of the username for /home. Something like:
may work well for you.
Finally, as martin suggested, you may want to adjust your block size if the files are all really small so that you don't use up extra disk space.
A relational database is probably starting to sound a little more attrcative now, I bet.
Yep, was planning to have directories 0-255, each with subdirs 0-255 (ie a 16 bit number range mapped to the filesystem). Many directories would in fact be empty or maybe only contain a few files, some might contain a few thousand.
> A relational database is probably starting to sound a little more attrcative
Hehe, actually I'm using one now, and it's starting to drag its feet a little. I think I can maybe cut down the search times by going this way instead... but my grand plan is a little hazy at the moment I have to admit.