PEEKS AND POKES: Turn off indexing services

FSI Server as well as FSI Cache both generate a fair amount of data stored on the servers hard disk. This data is for internal purposes only and to no use for any other application. Most modern operating systems come with some kind of indexing service, which creates a database containing metadata of all indexed files, thus allowing the user to quickly find a certain file. Depending on the operating system and the indexing service used, the amount of data stored for a single file differs. They all have in common though, that the directory structure is scanned from time to time in order to keep the index up to date.

Spotlight configuration on Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Scanning the quite complex directory structure used by FSI Cache and especially FSI Server can afford a noticeable amount of system resources, while in general the information gained from this scan of no interest to the user. We therefore strongly recommend excluding FSI Servers internal storage and FSI Caches cache directory from these services. Here’s a list of the most commonly used indexing services and a description how to exclude directories.

On Mac OS X the indexing service is called spotlight and can be configured by selecting the Spotlight entry from the System Preferences Panel. Change to the Privacy-Tab and add the directory you want to exclude to this tab.

On Linux and Unix systems the most commonly used service is called “locate”. On a lot of minimal server installations locate is not installed by default. In that case nothing needs to be excluded. If locate is installed it will access a database created by the updatedb-process. How a directory is excluded depends on the distribution you are using. On Debian-based systems, please add the path to the PRUNEPATHS variable in /etc/updatedb.conf. On OpenSuse you will have to add it to UPDATEDB_PRUNEPATHS in /etc/sysconfig/locate.

On Windows system the indexing service can be configured by opening the Control Panel and selecting “Indexing Options”. This brings up a dialog which allows selecting and deselecting directories.

Apart from the services that come with the operating system there might be third party software installed which also creates an index of the files on the disk, e.g. Google Desktop. Obviously, these should also be checked so that they exclude FSI Servers storage directory and the cache directory used by FSI Cache.