Re: ext2fs corrupt. Coming soon, web page.

Doug Ledford (
Sun, 06 Apr 1997 00:36:21 -0600

> Doug,
> I don't think we have someone who is keeping track of the reports that
> (hopefully) will come in regarding working and non working configuration
> with regard to ext2 corruption. Do you have a web page to keep these on,
> and know the people that should be contacted for them to reference when
> doing testing/development (Ted Ts'o and Remy Card?) ?

I've gotten several requests concerning the information I posted yesterday (thank you to all of those who have sent me comments on that posting). I am also flattered that it was so quickly integrated into the kernel mailing list FAQ :) As it stands, the posting I wrote the other day is rather long, yet it doesn't even begin to cover things as in depth as I would prefer, especially considering the amount of information there is to be covered (that list of what, 8 or 9 items I posted that I've seen cause problems in the past, those are all serious concerns, not just for ext2fs corruption, but for other things as well, and rightly deserve a certain amount of their own coverage for the sake of completeness).

The information I posted grows out of something other than linux. In the "old" days (I say that as if it were a long time ago, but I was only hired roughly 16 months ago to be system administrator for DialNet, an all linux based ISP) I worked for a company named PC Net. We specialized in Windows/Novell network integration. In that position, I had to be able to diagnose problems such as what I listed in my post since the Windows non-OS and the Netware OS don't give failure descriptions nearly as complete as linux. From this, I learned the hardware diagnosis skills that I do have. One person posted (either to linux kernel or to me personally, I can't remember which) a statement about this ability to diagnose hardware as being somewhat of a learned "art", and that he thought it should be a taught skill. I agree fully with this, the ability to separate hardware and software issues comes in MOST handy in many circumstances. So does the ability to look at a kernel failure and!
diagnose where exactly it is coming from (knowing what section of code is failing can help greatly in determining if the hardware is doing something "odd" or the software needs fixed as well).

So, given those above explanations, here's what I'm currently planning on. I have created a new web server in our network, I don't have anything on it yet, but I'm currently planning on implementing a web based resource for linux users that attempts to cover issues such as the ext2fs file system corruption in sufficient detail that it can serve almost as a HOWTO guide for debugging problems. But, the goal of this web server is a little more broad than that. Although the ext2fs corruption problem will be covered, it will be covered as it relates more to the aspect of hardware/software conflict/analysis/diagnosis issues. I plan on implementing sub-parts to this web page, one in particular is going to be a "Linux Configuration Pitfalls" page. This is where I plan to keep the information regarding things such as configurations that are known to cause problems (Dave Wreski: Thank you for sending in you configuration, however, in looking back at how I want to implement this pag!
e, I'm going to take the default stance of All Configurations Work, and then start putting in those known to cause problems lest I end up with a hardware compatibility list that makes SCO's hardware compatibility guide look like a short article compared to a novel :)

I actually have some rather lofty goals for the page, and I expect construction to take a while. The primary page is going to be a leader into several different areas for help, among them the help with hardware corruption, linux error messages (common ones), some resources helping to provide some more information on bug hunting/tracking using oops output and the like, and some further resources on administration/configuration help. Part of this is in response to what's been mentioned here on the list, and part of it is because it will, in the long run, make fine and dandy teaching aid for when we hire on new assistants :) Where I see this as being valuable to the linux community in general is the fact that I *intend* (so nobody shoot me if I fail for some reason) to make this server (I felt a page would end up too cluttered and hard to search through so this is getting an entire virtual domain of its own with a proper intro page to guide a person through the server) broad a!
nd inclusive, with more detail than can be reasonably placed in the Documentation subdirectory of the linux hierarchy in order to fill the gaps it leaves. I also reliaze this is probably more than I can achieve by myself, so if other people have things they want included, or linked in, they can let me know.

So, having said all of that, I'm going to be getting to work on this fairly soon now :) Anybody who has links they would like to see included, please email those to me, or if you have something you would like to see in the page, jsut let me know and I'll see if I can do it :) As soon as I have something at least rough enough to look at, I'll post the URL to the list so that people can take a look at it and give me their feedback.

* Doug Ledford                      *   Unix, Novell, Dos, Windows 3.x,     *
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