fsck should run on shutdown, not startup

Bug #368425 reported by Timmmm
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
sysvinit (Debian)
sysvinit (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix

Bug Description

It makes much more sense for fsck to run on shutdown than startup. I almost always have to skip fsck when I turn on my computer because it takes about an hour. It's rare that I turn on my computer but don't want to use if for another hour. However it is pretty common that I turn if off and don't mind that it stays on for another hour.

It should still be skippable, because sometimes you *do* want it to turn off (e.g. going to bed). In addition to the 'Press [esc] to skip' there should be a dialog box when you press shutdown:

"It is recommended that your disk be checked for errors now.

[OK] [Not this time] [Ask me again in a week]"

By the way, wasn't ext3 meant to make fsck obsolete?

Tags: udd-find
affects: ubuntu → sysvinit (Ubuntu)
James Westby (james-w)
Changed in sysvinit (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Revision history for this message
wensveen (wensveen) wrote :

I think the first part of the bug description is somewhat easier to implement, as that only ties into sysvinit (package initscripts?), I think. The second part (the GUI stuff) would be nice too, but probably requires patching GNOME, and possibly KDE and XFCE.

Revision history for this message
wensveen (wensveen) wrote :

Some simple experiments failed. Placed symlinks to /etc/init.d/checkroot.sh and /etc/init.d/checkfs.d in /etc/rc6.d as S65checkroot.fs and S70checkfs.sh. Didn't work. Maybe because it depends on stuff.

If someone could give me some pointers I'll try and look into it some more.

Revision history for this message
Max Barry (max-maxbarry) wrote :

As a workaround, you might want to try this:


Revision history for this message
Phillip Susi (psusi) wrote :

ext3 made a full fsck *after a crash* unneeded. By default, it still wants to run a fsck every 30 mounts just to make sure everything is ok. You can use tune2fs to change this if you wish. Also ext4 has features that make fsck significantly faster.

tags: added: udd-find
Changed in sysvinit (Debian):
status: Unknown → New
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in sysvinit (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
clemenstimpler (mir-faellt-gar-nix-ein) wrote :

TLDR: There are pre-installed systems using 10.04 + ext3 in the wild. Mine is. For those users, this bug is a real pita.

This is in my view a very serious usability issue, especially when converting users from Windows who aren't accustomed to that kind of thing. My story: I've bought a pre-installed pc with 10.04 and (reasonably conservative attitude at that time) ext3 as pre-installed file-system - I saw that only after I pressed the power-button for the first time. Pre-boot fsck is unnerving, because it takes a lot of time when using ext3 (different to ext4 - my previous pc run similar hardware, because it wasn't preinstalled). I'm quite sure that a lot of people who bought their preinstalled systems some time ago will regard this bug as a hassle. Not alienating them should be a prime priority in my view. Hence, I would like the community to ponder the issue that there may be a - on some scale - significant number of users bothered by this bug using 10.04+ext3. From my perspective, we shouldn't just recommend that those users reinstall 10.04+ext4. That's, for them, probably quite close to the windows experience they tried to escape. The user, I guess, sees no difference between executing fsck at the 29th shutdown rather than the 30th boot. The problem may be that So I don't want to read further comments like 'you should have installed ext4 right away'. The users I have in view may rather prefer to use some other OS again instead of voicing their concers here.

Revision history for this message
Steve Langasek (vorlon) wrote :

This is an interesting suggestion, but I don't think we'll be implementing this. As psusi notes, there are ways you can tune your system to avoid fsck on boot; you can even bypass the fsck altogether from the boot splash screen. And it would be nearly impossible to ensure we get the correct sequencing on shutdown to be able to fsck after unmounting, the way we do at boot time, because the system has simply never been designed for this.

(Not to mention problems like trying to run an fsck when the system is shutting down because of a low battery / impending UPS failure / hardware overheating.)

So while I think it's a good idea /in principle/, I don't think we can actually deliver on this, and trying to do so would likely make the system more fragile for a long time.

Changed in sysvinit (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
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