[LFS Trac] #2189: cleanfs may not clean /var files when system clock is localtime

LFS Trac trac at linuxfromscratch.org
Sun May 25 20:39:31 PDT 2008

#2189: cleanfs may not clean /var files when system clock is localtime
 Reporter:  dnicholson at linuxfromscratch.org  |       Owner:  lfs-book at linuxfromscratch.org
     Type:  defect                           |      Status:  new                          
 Priority:  normal                           |   Milestone:                               
Component:  Book                             |     Version:  SVN                          
 Severity:  normal                           |    Keywords:  bootscripts                  
 Continuation from #2160. The cleanfs script checks if files are older than
 /proc before removing them /var/run and /var/lock. However, /proc is
 mounted before the system clock is synced from the hardware clock in the
 clock script. This can cause the modification time of /proc to be
 inaccurate, especially when the hardware clock is in localtime and the
 time on /proc will be the offset from UTC.

 This can cause files in /var to be from a previous boot to appear to be
 newer than /proc, and they will not be removed by cleanfs. For either pid
 or lock files, you will have stale files which confuse the other

 There are two possible solutions:

 1. Don't use a marker file at all. I noticed that on Fedora they just reap
 everything in /var/run and /var/lock during sysinit. One drawback would be
 that no processes could write to those directories before cleanfs, but
 that shouldn't be a problem if cleanfs is ordered right after mountfs.
 Since /var isn't guaranteed to be mounted until mountfs, you wouldn't lose

 2. Choose a different marker file. I think that /etc/mtab is a good
 candidate. Again, if you put cleanfs right after mountfs, that's the first
 time /var is guaranteed to be writable. And /etc/mtab is updated during
 mountfs, so you would be sure that everything older than mtab is from a
 previous boot. However, if you run cleanfs sometime after boot, that's
 criteria is probably not accurate anymore.

 I'd personally rather go with 1.

Ticket URL: <http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/ticket/2189>
LFS Trac <http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/>
Linux From Scratch: Your Distro, Your Rules.

More information about the lfs-book mailing list