Linux Kernel Issues

Bah, another reboot of my file server, another half day lost to fiddling around to get it all back up and working again. I love Linux, but some of the problems I find here and there just piss me right off because there not the ones you’d have in a Microsoft world. Course, they also sometimes come up because of things that don’t happen in the Microsoft world[1], like this one, which was caused by me making a minor (I thought) change to the /etc/fstab file to do with file system mounting. I made it maybe uhm…. 40, 50, 60 days ago? Since the last reboot I think anyway. Since I never reboot this system though, I never saw the problem. Of course, it also was more of a problem because the system has no keyboard or monitor on it, and it really doesn’t make my attitude any better when I am crawling around on dusty floors trying to plug a VGA cable into the server in the dark, with the cord stretched to its limits between the server and the only available power plug.

The end result (after getting a system with the root partition mounted read-only) was to remove the ‘data=writeback’ from the /etc/fstab file, and it’s all back to normal again. This took a couple of hours of mucking around though because the only clue that I found (after much worrying that my cobbled together 700G filesystem on top of an odd EVMS/LVM/RAID configuration of 3x120G and 3x250G drives) was a “can’t change data mode on remount” error in dmesg. And honestly I didn’t see this until I’d already figured out the problem.


The only reason I haven’t nuked this system and installed Ubuntu on it for a bit more stability is that as far as I know there isn’t a “nice” and “safe” way to combine the number / size of drives mentioned into one big partition without some odd configuration like I have.

Course, just buying 3 or 4 500G drives and a SATA RAID card would be a good solution as well.

[1] Dear Microsoft kool-aid friend (you know who you are) – before you call me an idiot and bitch at me, this is obviously a hyperbole aimed at using exaggeration to create a slightly humorous result. Telling me that windows servers are way more stable than Linux servers isn’t necessary 🙂

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