Automatic fsck

Lars Wirzenius lars at
Tue Aug 12 16:17:36 BST 2008

ti, 2008-08-12 kello 15:07 +0100, Matt Zimmerman kirjoitti:
> On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 02:59:22PM +0100, Alexander Jones wrote:
> > 2008/8/12 Lars Wirzenius <lars at>:
> > > A way to avoid that would be to set up systems with LVM, and use an LVM
> > > snapshot volume for running fsck. This would give fsck a frozen snapshot
> > > of the system, and should work better. However, it requires some free
> > > space to be used, and I haven't actually tried it yet. Reserving some
> > > disk space just for this probably isn't going to be all that popular,
> > > either. However, for systems on which it would be acceptable, it might
> > > be worthwhile to investigate this.
> > 
> > And then what happens when it fails the check? Sounds pretty messy to me.
> Indeed.  The best we could do in a scenario like this would be to flag the
> filesystem dirty so that it gets checked the next time it's possible.

I assume you mean the next time the system is rebooted. That might be a
long time in the future: servers especially might run for months without
a reboot. Even laptops might not reboot until there's a kernel security
update that affects them. If the filesystem really is corrupted, it
would be best to deal with it as soon as possible, before (more) data is

I'd rather notify the server admin via e-mail (which is the standard way
of doing such things for servers), and the desktop user via a
notification area alert of some kind, triggered in some suitable way.

> > I say we look into fixing e2fsck to do online consistency checking
> > without borking over changing filesystem contents. Don't other OS/FS
> > combos do this well?
> This requires the cooperation of the kernel, and I don't think this exists
> in ext3.

An ext[234] solution would also be specific to that filesystem. An LVM
solution would be generic for all filesystems.

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