regular fsck runs are too disturbing

Devin Beaulieu raptor405 at
Tue Dec 4 15:02:41 GMT 2007

Couldnt fsck be run periodically in read-only mode during normal
operation (ie. while the disks are mounted), and if an error is detected
ask for a restart so fsck will be run during boot-up?

I am not aware of how fsck operates, so this may not be possible.

On Tue, 2007-12-04 at 08:40 -0600, HggdH wrote:
> On Sun, 2007-12-02 at 22:55 +0000, (=?utf-8?q?=60=60-=5F-=C2=B4=C2=B4?=)
> -- Fernando wrote:
> > Dane , you can manually bypass this by using tune2fs, and disable the fsck on your server.
> Yes, indeed this will do the trick. But it requires knowledge of some
> quite arcane utilities -- not usually what the casual user has --, and
> bypasses the basic issues:
> 1. fsck takes an inordinate long time for large filesystems;
> We distribute Ubuntu with the installation by default in one single
> monolithic filesystem (and most other distributions will do the same).
> Of old this was no biggie, since the disks were (relatively) small. But,
> nowadays, we usually get harddrives in excess of 100G. 
> Very few of us (based on my experience) will partition the HD. I have
> had issues on Ubuntu on this (I *do* run many partitions), with software
> updates putting critical system utilities in /usr/[s]bin instead
> of /[s]bin -- which causes some rather bad errors on boot (/usr is a
> mount point on my systems)
> 2. a generic ~30 mounts per check is too short an interval.
> Although this is probably good enough for desktop systems, it breaks
> fast on laptops. I, for example, boot my laptop at least twice a day --
> so, on my personal case, I will have a forced check in (usually) less
> than 2 weeks time. If I were to be running a single fs, it would take
> about 25 minutes for it to complete. Fortunately for me, since I broke
> my install in many filesystems, not all of them get done at the same
> time. 
> [as an example, I have seem my wife get out of her laptop in disgust
> when such a check started. And, of course, blast me for that :-)]
> 3. taking out the check is potentially dangerous in the long run.
> A direct question here is: how long can such a check be postponed? This
> question has not yet been answered, and we have people either disabling
> (via tune2fs or friends), or putting in some arbritary values.
> What we need is some consensus on how to deal with it.
> -x-x-x-x-x-x-
> I am guessing what we would need here is a reanalysis of how the checks
> are done, and what could be changed to minimise the impact of such
> checks. I would expect changes in the filesystems also.
> Perhaps a way would be a routine to prompt the user for a check next
> reboot, and be increasingly more vocal if the user keeps on postponing
> the check: 
> * This system has run for xxx (days|months|boots|whatever)
> * without a FS check. Do you want this check performed
> * next boot? 
> *
> *  [ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] postpone for now
> And then the routine would set a flag to be read by something next boot.

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