Maximum number of Files in a Directory

Different file systems in different Operating Systems has different limitations in the number of files that can be in a directory as determined by the underlying architecture.. Here is an overview of maximum of number of files that you can have in a directory and associated problems, if any, like performance.

FAT32

  • Maximum number of files: 268,173,300
  • Maximum number of files per directory: 216 – 1 (65,535)
  • Maximum file size: 2 GiB – 1 without LFS, 4 GiB – 1 with

NTFS

  • Maximum number of files: 232 – 1 (4,294,967,295)
  • Maximum file size
    • Implementation: 244 – 26 bytes (16 TiB – 64 KiB)
    • Theoretical: 264 – 26 bytes (16 EiB – 64 KiB)
  • Maximum volume size
    • Implementation: 232 – 1 clusters (256 TiB – 64 KiB)
    • Theoretical: 264 – 1 clusters

ext2

  • Maximum number of files: 1018
  • Maximum number of files per directory: ~1.3 × 1020 (performance issues past 10,000)
  • Maximum file size
    • 16 GiB (block size of 1 KiB)
    • 256 GiB (block size of 2 KiB)
    • 2 TiB (block size of 4 KiB)
    • 2 TiB (block size of 8 KiB)
  • Maximum volume size
    • 4 TiB (block size of 1 KiB)
    • 8 TiB (block size of 2 KiB)
    • 16 TiB (block size of 4 KiB)
    • 32 TiB (block size of 8 KiB)

ext3

  • Maximum number of files: minimum (volume Size / 213, number of Blocks)
  • Maximum file size: same as ext2
  • Maximum volume size: same as ext2

ext4

  • Maximum number of files: 232 – 1 (4,294,967,295)
  • Maximum number of files per directory: unlimited
  • Maximum file size: 244 – 1 bytes (16 TiB – 1)
  • Maximum volume size: 248 – 1 bytes (256 TiB – 1)

Author: Angsuman Chakraborty

Software architect and entrepreneur with substantial experience in designing and developing enterprise software and services for Fortune 500 companies as well as startups. Enjoys solving complex software and bioinformatics problems. Currently heading a product development & outsourcing company specializing in Web 2.0 technologies. Specialties: Software Architecture, Software Design, Software Consultant, Java Developer, Web 2.0, Custom product development, Bioinformatics, Software Outsourcing, Management Consultant

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