ZIYAD A. M. AL-BATLY zamb at saudi.net.sa
Sat Jul 9 02:55:38 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-07-08 at 16:21 +0200, René L. Reingard wrote:
Hi René...

> i read man-page of Wipe. my technical english is not so well, frankly  
> speaking.
Here too.  I'm not a native English speaker myself.

> so i don't get it straight. what is Wipe finally capable doing?
> file system here is EXT3, and i did not change any settings so far on  
> EXT3. no idea of how to do that anyway, haha.
> if doing the wiping of a file, Wipe does its job without telling anything  
> regarding journaling filesystem, and related problems.
> and there is also no error occuring.
> the idea is still, that i have a possibility to delete/erase any file i  
> want without the possibilty of any recovery/un-delete.
> what is the solution here (in Linux / Ubuntu)?
> thanks for talking on that,
> René
In a nutshell, "wipe" will *not* help you!  Sorry, but "EXT3" is a
"journal file-system"¹ which means that "wipe"² and "shred"³ can not do
their work right. 

There are two solutions for you:
     1. Use encrypted file-system (as mentioned by Lee Braiden)
     2. Don't use a journal file-system

Since Lee Braiden is discussing No. 1, I'll cover No. 2 here.

You said you have an EXT3 file-system (which is the default in Ubuntu).
To disable the journal, mount it as EXT2 by doing this:

Make a backup of "/etc/fstab" in a safe place (You could print it in a
paper).  Find the line in your "/etc/fstab" that have only "/" as it's
2nd argument.  It should look something like:
        /dev/hda1  /  ext3  defaults  0  1
Now, change the 3rd argument of that line to "ext2".  Your line should
look like this:
        /dev/hda1  /  ext2  defaults  0  1

Reboot your system.  To make sure it's now an EXT2 file-system, run "df
-T /" like this:
        zamb ~ $ df -T -h /
        Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
        /dev/hda1     ext2    9.8G  9.6G  191M  99% /

At this point, your system doesn't use "journal file-system", and as a
result "wipe" and "shred" should work fine.

If you didn't understand any of the above, just ask again.  Do *NOT* do
anything you don't understand.  Just ask again here.

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