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Re: Partition un(mount|repairable)

To: Adrian Head <ahead@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Partition un(mount|repairable)
From: Stephen Lord <lord@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 07:18:58 -0600
Cc: Jason White <jasonjgw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, linux-xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
References: <3C3C45F2.D6533E44@cs.tum.edu> <15422.17196.469756.949891@jpc.local> <3C3E5DFD.1060902@sgi.com> <200201110947.BAA02530@sgi.com>
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Adrian Head wrote:

On Fri, 11 Jan 2002 13:37, Stephen Lord wrote:

Any suggestions as to how the damage was done in the first place -
what the bug is?

Not as yet, but there have now been two cases of filesystems ending up
confusing repair like this.

There have been worrying reports of data corruption over the last few
weeks, and I am sure the developers are trying to track them down.

In my time running Linux/Win? I have had corruption or major issues with most of the filesystems at some time or other. I still trust XFS as I know where it falls down for me. Of course YMMV.


own system hasn't been used much recently as I have been away on
holiday, but I booted it this morning and everything seemed fine
(running Linux 2.4.17-xfs as downloaded from CVS at the end of last

I would say it is partially as xfs gets more exposure it gets tried on more
combinations of hardware and software (compilers).

This is very true and something that I'm very happy about. The more people that run XFS the better chance of catching every little issue; which results in a great stable filesystem very suitable for fileservers. Just look at where all the operation time has put ext2.

I am not aware of

any 'data corruption' issues remaining (emacs builds should be fixed,
and the fsx-linux program runs fine for me for 24 hours - I believe it
was been run in a patched kernel).

The directory corruption issues do concern me, and I have to admit to being
baffled right now, but the vast majority of users do not see any problems
at all.

Under my normal operational use of XFS, workstations & a 20client fileserver XFS is as stable as they come. I have not had any issues with these setups at all. All issues that I have encounted have occured when I have been stress testing the system way past where it would normally run in an attempt to find the limitations.

Just an update here, some things which happened overnight:

o The directory corruption which Ralf Bergs has been fighting turns out to be hardware,
they reproduced corruption under ext2

o xfs_repair has been fixed to deal with the avl insert case

o Finally the thing I forgot to mention, fs corruption which happens due to hard
machine failure (not a software crash) and is on an IDE drive with write caching
turned on is to be expected. The write caching will break the ordering constraints
expected by journalling filesystems, this will probably be true of ext3, jfs and
reiserfs too.

If you are worried about this sort of corruption then hdparm -W0 /dev/hdX is
your friend. Of course it will also tell you how slow ide drives really are.

So I think we are down to oopses now.


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