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Re: Skipping fsck during boot with systemd?

Brian wrote:
> Ever since Wheezy automatic fsck has been disabled on new installs. For
> the vast majority of users this passed unnoticed and for at least two
> years most new users have never seen an enforced fsck at boot. During
> the same amount of time there has not been a single report of any
> adverse effect due to this default; no one has suffered and no file
> systems have been harmed.
> I think we can conclude it is a safe default.

I disagree.  Two years is a very short time for this type study.  I am
shocked you would think it is a long time.  Especially a study that
isn't actively collecting any data.

How do you know there hasn't been any problems?  How many people who
had problems would even report it?  Who knows?  That data isn't being
collected.  The problem could easily be confounded with disk errors.
If someone were to have a problematic system they would probably just
end up installing over again, restoring from backup, and simply
writing it off as a bad event they don't want to think about anymore
without making any reports.

The lack of a routine fsck may be a safe default.  Or it may not be.
There isn't any data to say one way or the other.  Certainly it is
incorrect to say from any current data one way or the other.  It is
simply a judgement call from the local admin as to whether they think
it is better to periodically fsck or not.

I do know that when I fsck my server grade systems the fsck does make
file system corrections during fsck time.  Would any of those
eventually grow to be serious?  Don't know.  Would the file system
just collect mostly harmless lint over a decade?  Maybe.  Maybe it
wouldn't matter.  Or just maybe one of those errors would cascade into
something more serious such as a data loss event.  All we know is that
periodic fsck runs do make file system corrections even on good
quality systems with full ECC throughout.  That tells me that when
dealing with terabytes of data in file systems that errors do tend to
creep into them.

I will be continuing to fsck my systems periodically for the same
reason that I reboot my systems periodically.  Sure I know systems
still running after years of uptime.  But it isn't an uptime race.
The goal for me is predictable reliability.  Uncertainties get in the
way of that goal.


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