Serious error with faulty /etc/fstab

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Thu May 16 16:17:49 PDT 2002

On Fri, May 17, 2002 at 12:40:33AM +0200, J?rgen Nagel wrote:
> I was pretty angry that I couldn't start my system just due to this 
> stupid bug. It is obviously a logical mistake that I can't repair a 
> system when it is shut down.

The "shut down on error" can be heavily debated, and it has been, so I'm
not going through it again. All the info can be found in the mailinglist
archives if one cares enough to find it.

To make a long story short: you may not always be attending a system boot
and you don't always want to continue booting a system if fsck failed - it
may cause more problems than already exist.

But, it's a personal thing. If somebody doesn't want that behaviour, simply
edit the offending scripts and remove the commands that cause a shutdown.
So I'm not going to argue what the default should be, there's always a
group of people who don't agree. Unfortunately you don't agree now, but
that simpy can't be helped.
> Why is a missing partition not just ignored?

Limitation of fsck. It's return value just indicates an error, it doesn't
tell us that it failed due to a non-existing partition. If it would exit
with a specific return code for such a situation, then the script can be
altered to look for it.

> An error message is very useful and should be display whenever something 
> goes wrong with mounting. But if a partition could not be mounted, it 
> should not stop the system from starting !!
> It would be useful to have the choice of shutting down or continue starting.

Hmm, there's an interesting proposal. I've never thought of it actually.
I've added a note to Bugzilla regarding this, I'll check it out and see
what can be done.

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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