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RH 6.2 + VA Linux Enhancements (includes ext3 0.5b) Problem



I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a reliable RH linux distribution
installed on my Intel machine with journaling on my large disks (not
interested in journaling the root fs).  I've tried using ReiserFS and
eventually had some success, but it would seem that they are more in bed
with Suse.  It would appear that RedHat has chose ext3 as it's current
journaling focus.  My systems are RedHat centric so I'm sensitive to not
going again the grain.  I've patched kernels and stuff like that but always
have worse results with the OS when everything is said and done, so I'd
prefer to just install some RPM someone else has done the real work on. :)

This leads me to VA Linux's 6.2.3 distribution.  Basically, they take RH 6.2
and add power tools and bug fixes and some newer technologies.  One of these
integrated technologies happens to be ext3.  If I look in
/usr/src/linux-2.2.14/fs/ext3/CHANGES I find a file that says the version is
0.5b.  There is also a file in /usr/src/linux-2.2.14/README.ext3 which
describes the following steps for creating a journal (this is probably a
trip down memory lane for all of you):

[Paraphrased steps follow]

1. Use dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/bigdisk/.journal.dat bs=1k count=10000
2. chmod 400 /mnt/bigdisk/.journal.dat; chattr +i /mnt/bigdisk/.journal.dat
3. ls -I i /mnt/bigdisk/.journal.dat
4. umount /mnt/bigdisk/.journal.dat
5. mount -t ext3 /dev/sda1 /mnt/bigdisk -o journal=12

The 12 in step 5 came from the ls -i in step 3.  Unfortunately, step 5
produces and error I am unable to deal with:

JFS: no valid journal superblock found
EXT3-fs: error loading journal
EXT3-fs: get root I-node failed

Any chance anyone knows what's wrong here?  I actually had success with VA
Linux 7.0 Developer's Edition (RH7 + enhancements including ext3) using the
same procedure, but the warnings on this distribution are serious enough to
no put critical data on the system.  I'm not certain what version of ext3
was in that distribution.

Can anyone assist me in getting this configuration working?  Or, if there's
a nice RPM I can install (without having to build the kernel) to bring me up
to a more modern and stable version of ext3, I could entertain that as well.

I appreciate your assistance,

Daniel J. Levine
Data Reduction Section Supervisor
Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory

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