Why so big?

Mike Bird mgb-ubuntu at yosemite.net
Sun May 18 18:39:47 UTC 2008

On Sun May 18 2008 11:23:02 Karl Larsen wrote:
>     Well Mike the system does fsck every so often and there is no -f in
> fsck. So I really think what we have is a tiny orphan inode that happens
> when you bring the ext3 file system down wrong, I do not see this making
> the change from 6 to 2 Gb.


There may not be a -f in "man fsck" but the fsck command supports -f
as you could very easily have verified before posting false information
to this list.

   # umount /dev/md0
   # fsck /dev/md0
   fsck 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
   e2fsck 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
   /boot: clean, 48/48192 files, 43504/96256 blocks
   # fsck -f /dev/md0
   fsck 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
   e2fsck 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
   Pass 1: Checking inodes, blocks, and sizes
   Pass 2: Checking directory structure
   Pass 3: Checking directory connectivity
   Pass 4: Checking reference counts
   Pass 5: Checking group summary information
   /boot: 48/48192 files (20.8% non-contiguous), 43504/96256 blocks
   # mount /dev/md0

A few options are deliberately omitted from man pages so that newbies
don't play with dangerous features unless recommended.

An inode is small but data blocks are attached to inodes.  Some data
blocks may be directories, containing links to more orphaned inodes
and more data blocks.  It's very easy to get 3GB of lost space.  At
the moment you don't even know how many orphaned inodes you have,
as dumpe2fs only tells you the first.

There is at least one other possible place where the lost space could
be, but please run fsck or else stop wasting people's time on this list.

--Mike Bird

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