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Section: Maintenance Commands (8)
Updated: March 2002
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NAMEfsck - check and repair a Linux file system
SYNOPSISfsck [ -sACVRTNP ] [ -t fstype ] filesys [ ... ] [--] [ fsck-options ]
DESCRIPTIONfsck is used to check and optionally repair a one or more Linux file systems. filesys can be a device name (e.g. /dev/hdc1, /dev/sdb2), a mount point (e.g. /, /usr, /home), or an ext2 label or UUID specifier (e.g. UUID=8868abf6-88c5-4a83-98b8-bfc24057f7bd or LABEL=root). The fsck program will try to run filesystems on different physical disk drives in parallel to reduce total amount time to check all of the filesystems.
The exit code returned by
is the sum of the following conditions:
0 - No errors
1 - File system errors corrected
2 - System should be rebooted
4 - File system errors left uncorrected
8 - Operational error
16 - Usage or syntax error
128 - Shared library error
The exit code returned when all file systems are checked using the -A option is the bit-wise OR of the exit codes for each file system that is checked.
In actuality, fsck is simply a front-end for the various file system checkers (fsck.fstype) available under Linux. The file system-specific checker is searched for in /sbin first, then in /etc/fs and /etc, and finally in the directories listed in the PATH environment variable. Please see the file system-specific checker manual pages for further details.
- Serialize fsck operations. This is a good idea if you checking multiple filesystems and the checkers are in an interactive mode. (Note: e2fsck(8) runs in an interactive mode by default. To make e2fsck(8) run in a non-interactive mode, you must either specify the -p or -a option, if you wish for errors to be corrected automatically, or the -n option if you do not.)
- -t fslist
Specifies the type(s) of file system to be checked. When the
flag is specified, only filesystems that match
are checked. The
parameter is a comma-separated list of filesystems and options
specifiers. All of the filesystems in this comma-separated list may be
prefixed by a negation operator
which requests that only those filesystems not listed in
will be checked. If all of the filesystems in
are not prefixed by a negation operator, then only those filesystems
will be checked.
Options specifiers may be included in the comma separated fslist. They must have the format opts=fs-option, and may be prefixed by a negation operator. If an options specifier is present, then only filesystems whose /etc/fstab entry do (or do not, if the options specifier was prefixed by a negation operator) contain fs-option in their options field of the /etc/fstab file will be checked.
For compatibility with Mandrake distributions whose boot scripts depend upon an unauthorized UI change to the fsck program, if a filesystem type of loop is found in fslist, it is treated as if opts=loop were specified as an argument to the -t option.
Normally, the filesystem type is deduced by searching for filesys in the /etc/fstab file and using the corresponding entry. If the type can not be deduced, and there is only a single filesystem given as an argument to the -t option, fsck will use the specified filesystem type. If this type is not available, then the default file system type (currently ext2) is used.
Walk through the
file and try to check all file systems in one run. This option is
typically used from the
system initalization file, instead of multiple commands for checking
a single file system.
The root filesystem will be checked first unless the -P option is specified (see below). After that, filesystems will be checked in the order specified by the fs_passno (the sixth) field in the /etc/fstab file. Filesystems with a fs_passno value of 0 are skipped and are not checked at all. Filesystems with a fs_passno value of greater than zero will be checked in order, with filesystems with the lowest fs_passno number being checked first. If there are multiple filesystems with the same pass number, fsck will attempt to check them in parallel, although it will avoid running multiple filesystem checks on the same physical disk.
Hence, a very common configuration in /etc/fstab files is to set the root filesystem to have a fs_passno value of 1 and to set all filesystems to have a fs_passno value of 2. This will allow fsck to automatically run filesystem checkers in parallel if it is advantageous to do so. System administrators might choose not to use this configuration if they need to avoid multiple filesystem checks running in parallel for some reason --- for example, if the machine in question is short on memory so that excessive paging is a concern.
- Display completion/progress bars for those filesystems checkers (currently only for ext2) which support them. Fsck will manage the filesystem checkers so that only one of them will display a progress bar at a time.
- Don't execute, just show what would be done.
- When the -A flag is set, check the root filesystem in parallel with the other filesystems. This is not the safest thing in the world to do, since if the root filesystem is in doubt things like the e2fsck(8) executable might be corrupted! This option is mainly provided for those sysadmins who don't want to repartition the root filesystem to be small and compact (which is really the right solution).
- When checking all file systems with the -A flag, skip the root file system (in case it's already mounted read-write).
- Don't show the title on startup.
- Produce verbose output, including all file system-specific commands that are executed.
- Options which which are not understood by fsck are passed to the filesystem-specific checker. These arguments must not take arguments, as there is no way for fsck to be able to properly guess which arguments take options and which don't.
- Options and arguments which follow the -- are treated as file system-specific options to be passed to the file system-specific checker.
- Please note that fsck is not designed to pass arbitrarily complicated options to filesystem-specific checkers. If you're doing something complicated, please just execute the filesystem-specific checker directly. If you pass fsck some horribly complicated option and arguments, and it doesn't do what you expect, don't bother reporting it as a bug. You're almost certainly doing something that you shouldn't be doing with fsck.
Currently, standardized file system-specific options are somewhat in flux. Although not guaranteed, the following options are supported by most file system checkers:
- Automatically repair the file system without any questions (use this option with caution). Note that e2fsck(8) supports -a for backwards compatibility only. This option is mapped to e2fsck's -p option which is safe to use, unlike the -a option that most file system checkers support.
- Interactively repair the filesystem (ask for confirmations). Note: It is generally a bad idea to use this option if multiple fsck's are being run in parallel. Also note that this is e2fsck's default behavior; it supports this option for backwards compatibility reasons only.
AUTHORTheodore Ts'o (email@example.com)
ENVIRONMENT VARIABLESThe fsck program's behavior is affected by the following environment variables:
- If this environment variable is set, fsck will attempt to run all of the specified filesystems in parallel, regardless of whether the filesystems appear to be on the same device. (This is useful for RAID systems or high-end storage systems such as those sold by companies such as IBM or EMC.)
- This environment variable will limit the maximum number of file system checkers that can be running at one time. This allows configurations which have a large number of disks to avoid fsck starting too many file system checkers at once, which might overload CPU and memory resources available on the system. If this value is zero, then an unlimited number of processes can be spawned. This is currently the default, but future versions of fsck may attempt to automatically determine how many file system checks can be run based on gathering accounting data from the operating system.
- The PATH environment variable is used to find file system checkers. A set of system directories are searched first: /sbin, /sbin/fs.d, /sbin/fs, /etc/fs, and /etc. Then the set of directories found in the PATH environment are searched.
- This environment variable allows the system administrator to override the standard location of the /etc/fstab file. It is also use for developers who are testing fsck.
SEE ALSOfstab(5), mkfs(8), fsck.minix(8), fsck.ext2(8) or e2fsck(8), fsck.xiafs(8).
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