Problem in HTREE directory node

Theodore Tso tytso at
Wed Sep 3 16:09:52 UTC 2008

On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 11:40:06AM -0700, Ross Boylan wrote:
> Short version: 
> fsck said
> "invalid HTREE directory inode 635113
> (mail/r/user/ross/comp/admin-wheat) clear HTREE index?" To which I
> replied Yes.  
> What exactly does this mean was corrupted?  In particular, does it mean
> the list of files in the directory .../comp/admin-wheat was damaged?  Or
> is the trouble in the comp directory?
> Is fsck likely to have fixed up things as good as new, or might
> something be lost or corrupted?  I don't know what clearing the HTREE
> index does.

That just means that the interior nodes in the HTREE were corrupt.  If
you give permission to clear the htree index, e2fsck put the inode on
the list of directories that need to have their HTREE indexes rebuilt,
and a "Pass 3A" will rebuild the directory's (or directories') HTREE
indexes.  This is similar to what "e2fsck -fD" does, except it only
rebuilds directories whose HTREE indexes were corrupted, instead of
rebuilding and optimize all of the directories in the system.

So if that was the only message you received, and there were no other
reports of damage to the directory, you wouldn't have lost any
directory names.  It's in all likelihood "good as new".


							- Ted

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