Is fsck obsolet for journaling FS? - Was: How do I Automount [snip]

Ralf Mardorf silver.bullet at
Mon Nov 30 17:12:29 UTC 2015

On Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:53:40 -0600, C de-Avillez wrote:
>On Sun, 29 Nov 2015 23:18:14 +0100
>Ralf Mardorf <silver.bullet at> wrote:
>> Résumé
>> It's not recommended to drop fsck by dafault.
>> fstab can not simply be deleted.
>> And maybe it's still better to teach how to use fstab to mount
>> devices during startup, than to confirm that learning this is not
>> required, because it's possible to use gnome-disks?
>I did not follow all of this thread, and I do not think I lost much.
>But this email caught my attention.
>* fsck is indeed needed, and will -- at least for the near future --
>  still be needed. This does not mean most users will ever even hear
>  about it, or use it. There _are_ filesystems not served by fsck,
>  though (zfs comes to mind).
>* Now, *most* of the times fsck is needed it will be deployed
>  automagically on boot (because root is dirty). But if you have an
>  external disk, or moved a disk from a dead system to a still-live
>  one, you may need to run fsck by hand.
>* fstab cannot simply be deleted, indeed.

That was what Oliver claimed and for testing purpose recommended me to
do ;). I guess we explained that he was completely mistaken.

>  If it is there, leave it
>  there. Assume that the installer saw a need to create it (usually
>  when more than one disk is in use, or when LVM2 (man 8 lvm) is
>  configured).

I set up my installs all alone and don't let an installer do it for me,
if I install, then even without a WM/DE, this are things I install and
set up after installing core components.

I'm aware that Windows refugees, newbies do default installs, but as
soon as they e.g. add a second HDD, they IMO still should learn how to
use fstab. 

>* man fstab shows what to do. blkid (8) can show you the uuid of the
>  disk you want to add in fstab. It is recommended to use the uuid in
>  fstab (as opposed to devices) because this gives one more assurance
>  that your new drive in the system, with the data you need, will not
>  be confused, in a monumental coincidence, with your swap space.
>* Also, lsblk (8) gives one a nice overview of what is in the system.
>* perhaps the fifth, and sixth fields in a fstab entry are
>  confusing, so here it is: the fifth field should *always* be zero
>  (no dump needed for this FS); the sixth field will set the sequence
>  for fsck: 1 should be the root FS, any other disk should be > 1. (so
>  fsck will first check the root, then check the next priority disks,
>  and so on). On my laptop, for example, root is 1, boot is two, and
>  the two additional filesystems I have (on a different SSD) are 3.
>* so you want to dump your filesystem? Set the fifth filed in fstab to
>  1, and install dump. You will probably be the first in a long time to
>  do that. In the many years I have been dealing with UNIX, I have not
>  used dump (except for _restoring_ a saved dump once) in a very long
>  time. Even the restore was more than 10 years ago. There are now
>  better ways of backing up your disks. *My* fstabs have not have dump
>  set since I started using Linux.

All of what you wrote is my point of view too, excepted of the below.

>* *most* users do not need to know about any of the above. But all of
>  this is available if you are an advanced user that wants to do
>  something out of the "common". 

I disagree, this is basic knowledge and it's wise to learn it and all
the discussions were about this. I'm > 10 years power user ;) and some
of my posts were simply ironically, because too much wrong information
was spread.


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