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Old 08-12-2005, 09:17 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Near Lansing, MI , USA
Distribution: Mainly just Mandriva these days.
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Filesystem Check Every Boot

I believe Linux should be doing a full file system check every 20-30 boots. Recently (and most likely due to an update I've done), I'm having a full file system check EVERY boot. That's a very unwelcome 3-5 minutes addition to my boot up times which is quite annoying for a laptop that's supposed to be mobile.

Anyone know what config file might control this? From my searches I've found information on FSCK and e2fsck, but neither of these seems to actually control the boot process. I tried editing the sixth field of my fstab in hopes that I could simply turn off file system checks for everything but my root partition. No effect at boot. Saw something about /etc/boot.conf, but my distro doesn't have one of those.
Old 08-12-2005, 09:34 PM   #2
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tune2fs controls that, but there might be other problems that is causing the computer to think that there is a high risk for error, like improperly shutting down the computer. It is normal for a fsck to happen at around 25 boots, depending on the size of the partition, I think.
Old 08-12-2005, 09:36 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Distribution: Gentoo, Slackware
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That should be controlled in your system init scripts. In gentoo, they are in /etc/init.d, in slackware they are in /etc/rc.d. You didn't come out and say what distro you were using, unless it is Mandrake 10.1 as it says in your profile, in which case I don't know where you init scripts are. In any case, I would recommend running something like "grep fsck *" in your init script directory to find out precisely which file is doing the checks.
Old 08-14-2005, 09:15 PM   #4
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Near Lansing, MI , USA
Distribution: Mainly just Mandriva these days.
Posts: 317

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Well, tune2fs appears like it's SUPPOSED to control this issue. However, I've now played with it, and it doesn't appear to be changing anything. If this were an issue with bad shutdowns, I'd probably be getting error message during start up which haven't been happening (I've had bad shutdowns before, and I normally get some sort of message about it my next boot.).

I am using Mandrake on this computer though I've since moved to 10.2... the structure of everything is still the same though. I have both an rc.d and init.d folder. The rcx.d folders (x=run level) just contains symlinks to init.d to make sure the scripts are run in the right order. Running grep fsck * in init.d, doesn't give me much. I have a reference in the functions file and after checking it I'm pretty sure that isn't the culprit. The rest of the references are in the halt script, which definitely isn't called in startup.

Does anyone know much about the /proc/mounts or /proc/self/mounts file? It seems like there may be something to that file. However, I haven't been able to find any information about the syntax of that file in searches or any documentation that I've found.
Old 08-16-2005, 12:25 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Near Lansing, MI , USA
Distribution: Mainly just Mandriva these days.
Posts: 317

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Well, I didn't find this out right away, but the issue was in a file called rc.sysinit. I didn't find this right away because it was one of the few scripts not in init.d. So, what I can figure is the only way to turn this off is to get the fastboot variable set to off? I've done this by adding a line to rc.local because I can't find the config file that's actually SUPPOSED to do it.

# Check filesystems
# (pixel) do not check loopback files, will be done later (aren't available yet)
if [ -z "$fastboot" ]; then
gprintf "Checking filesystems\n"
Fsck -T -R -A -a -t noopts=loop $fsckoptions

Only thing is that this seems to disable root system file check at every boot as well (as well as some other checks). These might actually be necessary checks, not sure. I really wish that I'd found some way to do this besides manually "cheating" because someone with my amount of experience is very likely to break stuff. On the other hand though, boot up times in the range of 5-7 minutes (normal boot up time plus the nearly 5 minutes for file checks) are just unforgivable for a laptop.

Also, I'm not quite sure if I know how to use tune2fs. I read somewhere that it should not be used while the filesystem is mounted write. Does that mean that settings won't be saved if I run this from a normal run level? Perhaps I have to run it from run level 1 or something?


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