mbox vs. Maildir (was: Re: [Evolution] expunge speed)
- From: Alexander Skwar <ASkwar digitalprojects com>
- To: Dan Berger <dberger ix netcom com>
- Cc: Ron Guerin <ron vnetworx net>, Ricardo Amadeo Contreras <aztlan2k yahoo com>, Evolution Mehl Liste <evolution ximian com>
- Subject: mbox vs. Maildir (was: Re: [Evolution] expunge speed)
- Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 19:13:27 +0200
So sprach »Dan Berger« am 2001-08-19 um 14:10:35 -0700 :
the entire file must remain locked during delivery). 2. for mailboxes
with large numbers of messages, you start to trip over the fact that
un*x file systems aren't typically tuned for handling directories with
large numbers of entries. I did some performance analysis on this a few
years ago in a former life - and the curve is linear (bad).
Exactly! That's the reason I like mbox better. I've just converted a
mbox with >5000 messages to maildir to do some comparison.
I opened the mbox file and the maildir in mutt at the same time (on two
consoles), and while mutt was still reading the maildir, it was already
done sorting/threading the mbox. To open/sort the mbox, it took mutt ~9
seconds, while opening the Maildir took about 31 seconds!
Now, also deleting messages from the middle of a mbox isn't as bad as
everyone wants to make you believe. I then deleted the message which
was about in the middle of the file. This only took 3 seconds.
Granted, with Maildir it would have taken about 0 seconds. But I very,
very, very rarely delete messages from the middle of a file. I much
more often delete them from the end. So I deleted the very last
message. This took about 1 second. But deleting the very first message
also took about 4 seconds (which I also very rarely do).
So, performancewise mbox clearly is the winner. At least with mutt (my
primary mailer) and on my machine (Duron 800, 768 MB RAM, IBM
DDRS-39130W U2W SCSI HDD, reiserfs 3.5, kernel 2.4.8).
I just also installed pine and elm. pine is even *WAY* faster in
opening the mbox file. It was open at once. But deleting the message
in the middle took somewhat longer (~9 seconds). The last message was
gone in no time, and the first message took 29 seconds (!).
elm also didn't have a problem opening the file: 3 seconds. Middle
delete: ~5 seconds, last delete: ~5 seconds as well, first delete: ~12
They also both opened the file just fine. So I also don't know what you
mean by "compatibility problems".
To summarize: mbox is way faster and handled by more clients. mbox
completely wipes the floor with Maildir.
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