notmuch painfully slow

Pieter Praet pieter at
Sun Apr 24 01:13:49 PDT 2011

On Sat, 23 Apr 2011 07:18:52 +0200, Florian Friesdorf <flo at> wrote:
> [...]
> Is this the switch from xapian 1.0.x to 1.2.x or are further steps
> necessary?
> Are there instructions on how to do the switch? For the mailing list
> archive a link would be great - a quick search for 'xapian flint chert'
> was unsuccessful.
> In case there are no instructions yet, I'm happy to conclude what is
> gathered here and add it to notmuch's webpage.
> -- 
> Florian Friesdorf <flo at>
>   GPG FPR: 7A13 5EEE 1421 9FC2 108D  BAAF 38F8 99A3 0C45 F083
> Jabber/XMPP: flo at
> IRC: chaoflow on freenode,ircnet,blafasel,OFTC
Non-text part: application/pgp-signature

On Sat, 23 Apr 2011 09:20:53 +0200, Xavier Maillard <xma at> wrote:
> [...]
> Obviously, no, I did not. I even did not know about that ;) What's the
> story with this and what's the way to do this exactly ?
> Thank you.
> /Xavier

Both Carl [1] and Sebastian [2] posted about this a little while ago.

Bottom line: Chert is the new db format (replacing Flint) as of Xapian
1.2.x [3], and should -in most cases- be alot faster, whilst consuming
less disk space.

If .notmuch/xapian contains a file called "iamflint", you're still on
the old format. Otherwise it's called (surprise) "iamchert". Perhaps
somewhat confusingly, "flintlock" remains though.

Switching your notmuch db is straightforward:
>> notmuch dump ${tagdump}
>> rm -rf .notmuch/xapian
>> notmuch new
>> notmuch restore ${tagdump}
>> mv .notmuch/xapian .notmuch/xapian-fat
>> xapian-compact --no-renumber .notmuch/xapian-fat .notmuch/xapian
>> rm -rf .notmuch/xapian-fat

The last 3 lines are entirely optional and will cause writes to be a
bit more expensive in the short term, but will significantly reduce
the db's size, which your SSD will surely appreciate.



[1] id:"87ocl1lut1.fsf at"
[2] id:"87lj0iqa3c.fsf at"

More information about the notmuch mailing list