This page contains the images that our benchmark suite renders for the current release. Inside the benchmark suite, rmlint is challenged against other popular and some less known duplicate finders. Apart from that a very dumb duplicate finder called is used to see how slow a program would be that would blindly hash all files it finds. Luckily none of the programs is that slow. We’ll allow us a few remarks on the plots, although we focus a bit on rmlint. You’re of course free to interpret something different or re-run the benchmarks on your own machine. The exact version of each program is given in the plots.


This page is a little out of date. Help in updating it would be appreciated. The performance characteristics of rmlint have improved overall, but so might have other tools.

It should be noted that it is very hard to compare these tools, since each tool investigated a slightly different amount of data and produces different results on the dataset below. This is partly due to the fact that some tools count empty files and hardlinks as duplicates, while rmlint does not. Partly it might also be false positives, missed files or, in some tools, paths that contain a ‘,’. For rmlint we verified that no false positives are in the set.

Here are some statistics on the datasets /usr and /mnt/music. /usr is on a btrfs filesystem that is located on an SSD with many small files, while /mnt/music is located on a rotational disk with ext4 as filesystem. The amount of available memory was 8GB.

$ du -hs /usr
7,8G        /usr
$ du -hs /mnt/music
213G    /mnt/music
$ find /usr -type f ! -empty | wc -l
$ find /mnt/music -type f ! -empty | wc -l
$ uname -a
Linux werkstatt 3.14.51-1-lts #1 SMP Mon Aug 17 19:21:08 CEST 2015 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Note: This plot uses logarithmic scaling for the time.

It should be noted that the first run is the most important run. At least for a rather large amount of data (here 211 GB), it is unlikely that the file system has all relevant files in its cache. You can see this with the second run of - when reading all files the cache won’t be useful at such large file quantities. The other tools read only a partial set of files and can thus benefit from caching on the second run. However rmlint (and also dupd) support fast re-running (see rmlint-replay) which makes repeated runs very fast. It is interesting to see rmlint-paranoid (no hash, incremental byte-by-byte comparison) to be mostly equally fast as the vanilla rmlint.


rmlint has the highest CPU footprint here, mostly due to its multithreaded nature. Higher CPU usage is not a bad thing since it might indicate that the program spends more time hashing files instead of switching between hashing and reading. dupd seems to be pretty efficient here, especially on re-runs. rmlint-replay has a high CPU usage here, but keep in mind that it does (almost) no IO and only has to repeat previous outputs.


The most memory efficient program here seems to be rdfind which uses even less than the bare bone (which does not much more than holding a hashtable). The well known fdupes is also low on memory footprint.

Before saying that the paranoid mode of rmlint is a memory hog, it should be noted (since this can’t be seen on those plots) that the memory consumption scales very well. Partly because rmlint saves all paths in a Trie, making it usable for \(\geq\) 5M files. Also it is able to control the amount of memory it uses (--limit-mem). Due to the high amount of internal data structures it however has a rather large base memory footprint.

dupd uses direct file comparison for groups of two and three files and hash functions for the rest. It seems to have a rather high memory footprint in any case.

Surprisingly each tool found a different set of files. As stated above, direct comparison may not be possible here. For most tools except rdfind and it’s about in the same magnitude of files. fdupes seems to find about the same amount as rmlint (with small differences). The reasons for this are not clear yet, but we’re looking at it currently.

User benchmarks

If you like, you can add your own benchmarks below. Maybe include the following information:

  • rmlint --version
  • uname -a or similar.
  • Hardware setup, in particular the filesystem.
  • The summary printed by rmlint in the end.
  • Did it match your expectations?

If you have longer output you might want to use a pastebin like gist.