Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 76381
while writing LILO, ext3 complains
Last modified: 2007-04-18 12:47:49 EDT
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Description of problem:
When I try to write LILO into Linux partition, kernel says 'Unexpected dirty
buffer encountered at do_get_write_access:597
(03:06 blocknr 0)'. However, everything works after this. My platform is Dell
Latitude, 20GB disk (Linux partition is somewhere around 12GB), stock RH kernel.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
Actual Results: Error (warning?) message, but everything works fine after this.
Expected Results: No message.
I've found this message in ext3 journalling daemon sources. I think that ext3
and LILO have some misunderstanding in this area...
That warning occurs when some external program modifies a block that is under
ext3 control. In this case it's probably because you're running LILO with the
boot sector one one of your partitions, rather than on the MBR of the disk.
There's just no way around it --- if you do this, LILO ends up modifying one of
the filesystem blocks which contains critical fs metadata (the superblock in
this case). Of course, a journaling filesystem's correctness depends utterly on
it getting the write order on disk exactly correct, and finding buffers
unexpectedly dirty can indicate that that has gone wrong, which would be a
So ext3 has the choice of warning about this or ignoring it. Given the
potentially severe result of any ext3 bug which gets the write order wrong, it's
better to leave the warning present, but the side-effect is that this particular
LILO operation will result in a warning if you use it on an active, live filesystem.