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SubjectRe: Heuristic readahead for filesystems
On Wed, 11 Sep 2002, Xuan Baldauf wrote:

> Hello,
> I wonder wether Linux implements a kind of heuristic
> readahead for filesystems:
> If an application reads a directory with getdents() and if
> in the past, it stat()ed a significant part of the directory
> entries, it is likely that it will stat() every entry of
> every directory it reads with getdents() in the future. Thus
> readahead for the stat data could improve the perfomance,
> especially if the stat data is located closely to each other
> on disk.
> If an application did a stat() sequence on a
> file, it is likely that, after the next stat(), it will open
> and read the mentioned file. Thus, one could readahead the
> start of a file on stat() of that file.
> Combined: If an application walks a directory tree and
> visits each file, it is likely that it will continue up to
> the end of that tree.

M$ Win XP does exactly something like this and keep applications
( windows\prefetch ) and boot profiles that it uses to prefetch disk data
and avoid long page fault latencies. It does kind-of-work but care should
be taken adopting a similar technique on Linux ( patents ).

- Davide

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