Checking filesystems periodically

Anish Mangal anish at
Fri May 4 11:18:50 EDT 2012

Hash: SHA1

On Fri 04 May 2012 07:57:47 PM IST, Chris Ball wrote:
> Hi,
> On Fri, May 04 2012, Chris Ball wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Fri, May 04 2012, Daniel Drake wrote:
>>> Until F17 we haven't had a good way of communicating this via the boot
>>> animation. Now we can do that easily but it lacks implementation.
>>> Thirdly, fsck is not magic. It cannot detect/repair all corruption. As
>>> far as I know, we have not yet found a case of corruption which can be
>>> meaningfully fixed by fsck. We did do quite a bit of testing for this
>>> at an earlier point.
>> Also, our users cannot be expected to understand (or obey) a requirement
>> that they not turn off the machine while it's doing something dangerous:
>> so if powering down half way through fsck leaves the filesystem in a
>> worse state than it was before fsck ran, we probably shouldn't do it
>> at all.

This is a valid point. _If_ there is a possibility that fsck will leave
the system in a worse state if the laptop is accidentally powered off,
this is a bad idea.

However, we can probably do a 'read-only' fsck, and provide a
notification (perhaps to contact technical support) if it finds
problems. That could be a fail-safe way of implementing this.

Am I right in assuming (with my limited knowledge in this area) that
the fsck-on-boot is by default read-only?

> Another also: sometimes when fsck finds an inconsistency it asks you for
> the root password, but some of our users don't have the root password,
> so they might end up in a reboot loop where they can't progress.

As above, a non-intrusive way of doing this would be providing a
notification to contact technical support. The biggest caveat then
becomes that the problem doesn't happen too often ;-) or else tech
support start cursing us!

In general, I wouldn't expect users to open a terminal and type
commands and passwords to repair their machine. If it has to be
implemented, it has to be completely handled by a GUI.

> - Chris

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