Bug 462804

Summary: fsck failure dumps user into a shell
Product: [Fedora] Fedora Reporter: Olivier Crête <olivier.crete>
Component: initscriptsAssignee: Bill Nottingham <notting>
Status: CLOSED WONTFIX QA Contact: Fedora Extras Quality Assurance <extras-qa>
Severity: medium Docs Contact:
Priority: medium    
Version: 9CC: ihok, rvokal, sitsofe
Target Milestone: ---Keywords: Reopened
Target Release: ---   
Hardware: All   
OS: Linux   
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Fixed In Version: Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Clone Of: Environment:
Last Closed: 2009-06-10 15:46:16 UTC Type: ---
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oVirt Team: --- RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description Olivier Crête 2008-09-19 00:56:17 UTC
When fsck on boot fails, it dumps the user into a shell.. and unless he is a Unix sysadmin, he will be lost.

Solution: Replace the current message with something like:

Repairing your file system may cause errors!!! Do you want to: [F]orce Repair, get to a [S]hell or [R]eboot:

Comment 1 Bill Nottingham 2008-09-19 01:01:28 UTC
1) Just rebooting when fsck fails is ... going to fail again. That's not useful.
2) If it fails to the point when you get a shell, forcing a fsck won't work - it dies because -y doesn't work.

Which leaves dropping to a shell, which is what we do.

Comment 2 Jack Tanner 2008-09-19 01:25:30 UTC
Still, this is a moment of utter panic and confusion for anyone inexperienced with fsck. That's a lot of desktop Linux users. (Won't anyone think of the grandmothers!) The present interface simply abandons the user; it needs to be more guiding. If a fsck -y fails, then it should explain why it failed, what files might be gone, or if all hope is lost...

Comment 3 Olivier Crête 2008-09-19 01:51:25 UTC
1) Rebooting can be useful if you want to reboot onto something else (a usb key or a rescue network boot or whatever and for some reason you can't directly access the power key).. alright, not that useful.. 

1.1) I agree we need to keep the current "drop me to a shell" for the few people who understand debugfs and other exciting tools.

2) It currently doesn't try -y, it tries -a ... which will only do "safe repairs", -y can often help. (unless -y is in /fsckoptions..)

3) Even if -y fails, there should really be more help.

For the the case I had today (using F9), the user got it working just by doing "fsck /dev/...." and answering "y" a few times, so -y would have definitely worked.

Comment 4 Sitsofe Wheeler 2008-09-19 08:25:18 UTC
Whenever I've tried to "repair" a filesystem using fsck -y the filesystem has been destroyed and would no longer even get to /bin/bash the next time round. In my experience if the system is asking you this question you are already in trouble and at a bare minimum you have to understand what /lost+found means.

Comment 5 Bug Zapper 2009-06-10 02:45:06 UTC
This message is a reminder that Fedora 9 is nearing its end of life.
Approximately 30 (thirty) days from now Fedora will stop maintaining
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Comment 6 Bill Nottingham 2009-06-10 15:46:16 UTC
I'm still not sure what sort of useful guiding information could be here that doesn't require 2 screens of data and a sysadmin background. Closing for now.