Max files in unix folder from PIL process

Rowdy david at
Tue Mar 29 07:46:13 CEST 2005

David Pratt wrote:
> Hi.  I am creating a python application that uses PIL to generate 
> thumbnails and sized images. It is beginning to look the volume of 
> images will be large. This has got me to thinking.  Is there a number 
> that Unix can handle in a single directory. I am using FreeBSD4.x at the 
> moment. I am thinking the number could be as high 500,000 images in a 
> single directory but more likely in the range of 6,000 to 30,000 for 
> most. I did not want to store these in Postgres. Should this pose a 
> problem on the filesystem?  I realize less a python issue really but I 
> though some one might have an idea on the list.
> Regards,
> David.

FreeDB (CD database) stores one file per CD in one directory per
category.  The "misc" category/directory on my FreeBSD 5.3 system
currently contains around 481,571 small files.  The "rock"
directory/category contains 449,208 files.

As some have said, ls is *very* slow on these directories, but otherwise
there don't seem to be any problems.


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