how does ext3 handle no communication to storage

Sev Binello sev at
Tue Aug 29 15:09:35 UTC 2006

Andreas Dilger wrote:
> On Aug 28, 2006  18:47 -0400, Sev Binello wrote:
>>so there are buffers in the cache that haven't been written out yet,
>>so by "flush" drop" you mean get rid of, or you mean make sure they are 
>>written out ?
>>If the former, how does that prevent file system corruption ?
> If buffers are discarded outright (i.e. the first case) then the ext3
> journal recovery will handle the interruption at remount time as if
> the node had rebooted.  If, on the other hand, some dirty buffers are
> sitting in memory but also some of the previous writes completed with
> an error, then you can get inconsistencies in the filesystem.
> Consider if a bunch of journal writes fail, but the journal commit block
> sits in memory until the FC link is restored.  Then, upon remounting the
> filesystem, the old garbage that was at the location of the transaction
> gets copied into the filesystem because the commit block says "yup, this
> transaction is complete and safe to checkpoint to the filesystem".
> One solution that we have been looking at is the journal checksum patch
> from U. Wisconsin.  This verifies that the journal transaction is complete
> before doing any recovery checkpointing, and would prevent such an error.
> Another option (to at least avoid gratiuitous damage, but haven't tried
> this yet) is to mark the whole block device read-only when the journal
> is aborted so that the block layer will prevent any writes to be submitted
> to the block device.  The jbd code would need to clear the read-only flag
> after the filesystem is being unmounted and all the buffers have been
> discarded.
> Cheers, Andreas
> --
> Andreas Dilger
> Principal Software Engineer
> Cluster File Systems, Inc.

 From a strictly practical and immediate stand point,
what is the best way to handle this situation if it should occur again in the near future ?



Sev Binello
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, New York
sev at

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