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ext3 behaviour when no space on disk



While compiling two kernels and untarring a third, my root fs was remounted r/w
and I got the following in dmesg (kernel 2.4.19-pre9):

EXT3-fs error (device ide0(3,2)) in ext3_new_inode: error 28
Aborting journal on device ide0(3,2).
ext3_abort called
EXT3-fs abort (device ide0(3,2)): ext3_journal_start: Detected aborted journal.
Remounting filesystem read-only
Remounting filesystem read-only
EXT3-fs error (device ide0(3,2)) in start_transaction: Journal has aborted
EXT3-fs error (device ide0(3,2)) in start_transaction: Journal has aborted
EXT3-fs error (device ide0(3,2)) in ext3_create: IO failure
EXT3-fs error (device ide0(3,2)) in start_transaction: Journal has aborted
EXT3-fs error (device ide0(3,2)) in start_transaction: Journal has aborted
...

Rebooting didn't help: the journal aborted immediately.  I also had some
trouble using rootfstype=ext2 because (detecting that the filesystem was
in a bad state when shutdown) it refused to mount the root fs ext2!
Anyway, I finally tricked it into remounting as ext2.  It then became clear
that the disk was full.  After removing a heap of files (possible because
I was using ext2; not possible with ext3 because of the instant remounting
as read-only) and rebooting, all was well.

The moral of the story seems to be: ext3 behaves in an inelegant way
when the disk is full.  Is this inevitable for a journalling file system?  If
not, I for one would be very happy if ext3 (which otherwise I have been
very happy with) behaved a little nicer in this case...

All the best,

Duncan.





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