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Re: nasty ext3 problem

On Tue, Apr 08, 2003 at 12:56:21AM -0400, Mark wrote:
> Using kernel 2.4.20 with the following patches
>  ext3-scheduling-storm.patch
>  ext3-use-after-free.patch
>  sync_fs-fix-2.patch
>  sync_fs-fix.patch
>  sync_fs.patch
> Note: this problem started happening before applying the patches
> I have a small partition for / since I don't have much there.
> Filesystem           1k-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
> /dev/sda6               303344     98934    188749  35% /
> After an average of 14 days / is completely filled.  But doing a du on /
> returns:
> 98934   /
> but Available is 0
> and Used is equal to the total available space - % reserved for root
> If I reboot, then Use% goes back to 35% and available space goes back to
> normal

This is an FAQ.  The standard cause for this is some user process
keeping a deleted file open.  When this happens, the space is not
visible via 'du', since the file is no longer visible in the directory
tree.  However, the space is still used by the file until it is
deallocated, and that can only happen once the last process which has
the file open either closes its file descriptor to the file, or the
process exits.

You can use the lsof program to try to find which process is keeping
an open file.  Usually it's some log file, or some large data base
file which gets rotated out, but some older process are still keeping
the log file open.

						- Ted

P.S.  See this URL for an example of the same problem under Open BSD:


Here's another summary of answers to the same questions dating back to
1995 and SunOS.


P.P.S.  Anyone want to volunteer to start and maintain an EXT3 faq?
I'm not sure why this question keeps coming up all the time, but I'm
getting tired of answering it again... and again... and again...

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