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SV: Ext3 destroying ownerships and permissions



About a month ago I posted the message referenced below. There were a lot of kind and helpful responses, but in the end it seemed nobody knew what to make of it. Since then, all our problems have gradually disappeared. Automagically. Since we have made no site-wide changes that could explain the problem, apart from switching to ext3, I suggest these conclusions:

a) The problems had something to do with going from ext2 to ext3. All occured *at the actual time of the upgrade* but were discovered gradually, making it *seem* like ongoing corruption.

  or

b) The problems had nothing to do with ext3 but were, as someone suggested, caused by buffer overflows due to external attacks. We can find no trace of this type of attacks, but that doesn't prove they didn't happen.

  or

c) The cause is something mysterious and exciting yet to be discovered.

  or

d) any combination of a), b) and c) above.

Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone for your help and time. I'm happy we didn't downgrade back to ext2. Ext3 rocks. Really.

Best regards,
/Johan Ekenberg

> Hi!
> 
> A few weeks ago we upgraded 9 large webservers from ext2 to ext3. 
> Since then we've seen very strange behavior on several of the 
> machines. Permissions of files are repeatedly changed at random 
> occasions. Several  times, ownership of files have been totally 
> mangled. Several users have logged in to discover that all their 
> files suddenly are owned by another user! At two of these 
> occasions the machine froze and rebooted when we started to chown 
> the files back to their real owner. 
> 
> We currently see no other solution than to "downgrade" back to 
> ext2, and prepare for a change to ReiserFS or another journaling 
> fs later this spring.
> 
> But first I wanted to check with you, is this a known problem? 
> Maybe there's even a solution to it?
> 
> This is our current configuration:
>   Intel 2 x PIII (SMP) w/ 1 Gb memory
>   Mylex AcceleRAID 352 PCI RAID Controller (DAC 960)
>   3 x 36 Gb IBM disks. RAID 5 thus gives us approx. 70 Gb
>   kernel 2.2.19 + ext3-0.0.6b
>   Slackware 4.0 (libc5)
>   e2fsprogs-1.20.WIP.sct-20010216
> 
> There are no fs related kernel error messages, nothing to 
> indicate that the kernel knows that something is wrong. I'd be 
> happy to provide you with more information if needed.
> 
> Best regards,
> /Johan Ekenberg - Sweden
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