[CentOS] OT? File order on CentOS/Samba server -- SOLVED (kind of...)

Fri Jan 23 20:22:44 UTC 2009
Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com>

Miguel Medalha wrote:
>> (...) think your real problem lies in your processing software in
>> the file ordering. I would have a really good look at the software doing it.
> The problem lies in EXT3. I discovered that if I mv the files to another 
> directory the files will then appear on the samba shares in 
> alphanumerical order and will be processed by Acrobat Distiller 
> accordingly. The move can even be done by Windows Explorer working on 
> the Samba share.
> This seems a bit strange to me. Why doesn't EXT3 present the files in 
> alphanumerical order after they are first created one by one but then 
> presents them alphanumerically after a bulk move to another directory?

Directories grow as they are filled the first time.  If you use a shell 
script with a wildcard to do the move, the shell will sort the list on 
the command line as it expands it, so the names are linked into the new 
directory in sorted order.  However if you repeat this in the same 
directory instead of creating new ones each time it may not continue to 
work as existing empty slots may be reused in a different order.

> Also, I connected a FAT32 formated USB flash drive to the server and 
> directed Distiller to there. The files are correctly processed at the 
> first trial. I suppose I will install a smallish FAT32 formated IDE disk 
> on the server just for this purpose.

Did you consider sharing a directory from the machine running distiller 
and cifs-mounting it on the linux side to get ntfs behavior?   Also, I'm 
curious about the timing of the runs.  It doesn't sound like the file 
operations are grouped atomically.  How do you ensure that the whole set 
is present when distiller starts, or that only one set is present?  If I 
were doing it, I'd probably create a new tmp directory for each set of 
files (which should fix the ordering as a side effect) and rename it to 
the expected name after all files are present so you see all of them or 
none.  Or, I might put cygwin sshd on the windows box and use scp or 
rsync to copy the files over in a batch, then start the Distiller run 
(if you can start it from the command line).

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com