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SV: Ext3 destroying ownerships and permissions

> Changed ownerships seem to happen in larger groups or
> batches. The most frequent occurence is that "user A" finds
> that his homedir and *all* files and dirs under it are
> suddenly owned by "user B". Also files under "user A"'s
> homedir which where previously owned by root (some
> auto-generated statistics are owned by root) get their
> ownership changed to "user B". Files belonging to "user A" in
> other places in the filesystem (mailboxes, crontabs,
> temporary files, etc) are not affected.
> We have our homedirs arranged according to the scheme:
> /home/a/a*, /home/b/b*, so that all usernames begining with
> "a" are found in /home/a, those begining with "b" are in
> /home/b, and so forth. Yesterday there was an unpleasant
> surprise in /home/f: about 10 of 60 "f*" homedirs had their
> ownerships recursively changed to another "f*" user,
> everything under the 10 homedirs was now owned by this user.
> Nothing else in the filesystem seemed to be changed or corrupted.

Here's some more detail on the above changed-ownership fenomenon.
This course of events happened at least once:

  - A user, let's call him "foo", found that his homedir, /home/f/foo,
  and all files under it had changed owner to user "foofoo".
  An administrator logged in started to do a "chown -R foo /home/f/foo".

  - As soon as the chown -R operation was started, the server halted
  and rebooted. When it came back up again it was discovered that
  user "foo" now was the owner of 10 out of 60 dirs under /home/f. The
  administrator is 100% certain that he did not accidentally do the
  chown -R foo on /home/f/* instead of /home/f/foo. And even if he did,
  it doesn't help to explain the reboot or that owhership was wrong
  in the first place.

The halt+reboot when trying to change owner of files whose
ownerships had been mysteriously changed has occured on two
different occasions.

Best regards,
/Johan Ekenberg

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