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What exactly happens when a directory has a default layout in lustre?

As far as I know, if a directory has a default layout then whatever striping parameters are set for the directory are applied to the files created in that directory (unless mentioned explicitly). However, I tried for it but could not see that.

I mentioned the stripe count for directory=2 (lfs setstripe -c 2 /mnt/lustre/directory), and created the file inside it using lfs setstripe /mnt/lustre/directory/file1 but when I do lfs getstripe /mnt/lustre/directory/file1 I could see stripe count=1.

Why is it so?

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Did you try creating a file without using lfs setstripe (e.g. touch /mnt/lustre/directory/file1)? When I tried creating a file inside striped directory using touch command it worked as expected (getstripe command returned lmm_stripe_count: 2 value).

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