Ubuntu becomes unusable - force fsck when needed

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Mon Sep 4 02:17:21 BST 2006

Edward Murrell <edward at dlconsulting.com> writes:
> Hervé Fache wrote:
>> The startup scripts would run 'fsck -y' instead of 'fsck -a' after a
>> reboot if only we created a /fix file on failure...
>> We could also use reiserfs by default, although I think ext3 is more
>> reliable in case of power failure. Apart from when it goes wrong like
>> here of course!

No file system is perfect, and they can all go wrong, especially in the
face of low end hardware[1] that copes badly with power issues because
that costs the manufacturer less.

ReiserFS probably doesn't represent a significant win for most people,
as it is no better (and, depending on who you ask, significantly worse)
at resisting corruption in this sort of situation.

> If ext3 is going to be replaced, would JFS be better?

Probably not.  It isn't as broadly used as the other options, which
means more risk from undetected issues, and it doesn't seem to offer any
compelling performance or reliability advantages.

> XFS is equally as capable, but last I checked, had has issues with

This probably isn't a win, especially in the marginal situation being
discussed, because XFS decided to trade off data integrity for security,
and so is more prone to data loss in the event of a power failure.[2]

> I've heard various reports and had my own issues with ReiserFS doing
> funny things with data.

ReiserFS has some design choices that are, in some cases, problematic.

Most of them are edge cases, like the inability to store images of
ReiserFS file systems on a ReiserFS file system, but they are certainly

Personally, I would advocate the safe approach of sticking with ext3, as
it offers a good trade-off between performance and reliability, is well
understood, and can be tuned to improve those trade-offs for

It is also, unlike some of the other file systems, relatively easy to
repair in the event of failure -- and certainly is no worse than the


[1]  As in, pretty much all of it these days.

[2]  This may be a *good* decision, in many ways, but it does reduce the
     utility of the file system in the event of a crash, as you lose
     data where ext3 risks exposing private information.

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