Softupdates: df, du, sync and fsck [quite long]

John Ekins john.ekins at
Mon Jun 30 00:59:34 PDT 2003

On Sat, 28 Jun 2003 15:12:05 -0400
Bill Moran <wmoran at> wrote:

-> Hmmm ... not good.  A little more research might qualify this problem for a PR.

I was thinking that myself :-)

-> Yikes!  Is the machine still responsive?  Sometimes you can put the load that
-> high and still have a functional box.

It was way too sluggish. The machine responded eventually but I wouldn't want to
run it like that in production (even though I did for half an hour).

-> I'm guessing by the way the conversation is going that you're able to grab
-> one of these boxes and make some tweaks.  Possibly try putting the spool
-> directory on a dedicated partition and mounting it async?  If the box shuts
-> down dirty, you'll probably have to newfs the partition before you can use
-> it again. At least make sure the spool partition is seperate from your log
-> partition, that should help to mitigate the problem (although you may already
-> have done that).

I've ordered some more disks already. I'm going to split off the spool, the logs
and the anti virus scanner (creates a temporary file for every message received).
This will definitely help, I'm sure. Still, it doesn't answer the problem with
soft updates I've experienced.

-> I was wondering if maybe the syncs were taking longer than the shutdown process
-> was willing to wait.

It would certainly seem so, or perhaps it just can't sync for some reason.
-> It may save you some time to look in CVS under the files for the drivers for
-> the SCSI subsystem as well as the drivers for you specific cards to see if any
-> commit messages talk about fixing problems like this.

Will do.

-> My experience with background fsck is that the machine is slow as hell while
-> the background fsck is running.  Whether or not this is better or worse than
-> what you're experiencing with 4.7 is a question only you can answer.

I've played around with background fsck on other machines, but I'm not sure it's
right for these (very busy) machines. 

-> Well ... I'm really shooting in the dark with these suggestions, but hopefully
-> there will be something useful.

Gratefully received...
-> -- 
-> Bill Moran


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