Ext3 filesystem goes read-only without the underlying storage reporting errors

This document (3605538) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Support Pack 1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Support Pack 1



An ext3 filesystem is remounted read-only by the kernel.
No errors are reported from the storage layer underlying the affected filesystem.


Status (Last updated: 2008-07-07)

This issue is fixed as of SLE10 SP2. Refer to TID 7000387 - How to update to SLES/SLED 10 SP2 for details on the process of updating to SP2.

For systems which cannot be updated to SLE10 SP2 (e.g. systems running Open Enterprise Server 2 GA), this issue is fixed as of kernel version which is available as an on-line update.


When a kernel update (as discussed above) is not an option, the problem can als be worked around by explicitly disabling barrier support for the affected filesystems, e.g. by specifying
in /etc/fstab's mount options field for the affected filesystems.

Additional Information

Root cause

Error handling code in the ext3 filesystem code is not properly handling the case where a device has stopped to accept barrier requests, which can happen with software RAID devices, LVM devices, device-mapper devices and with third party multipathing software like EMC PowerPath.


For background on I/O barriers, please refer to TID 3907838 -JBD error message "barrier-based sync failed".

Related issues

Pre-service pack 1 installations can be affected by an issue with similar symptoms. That issue is covered in TID 3735930 - Filesystem goes read-only without the underlying storage reporting errors.

VMware guest installations can also be affected by an issue with similar symptoms. That issue is covered in TID 7005154 - Filesystem goes read-only in VMware.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:3605538
  • Creation Date: 27-Feb-2008
  • Modified Date:25-Mar-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

< Back to Support Search

For questions or concerns with the SUSE Knowledgebase please contact: tidfeedback[at]suse.com

SUSE Support Forums

Get your questions answered by experienced Sys Ops or interact with other SUSE community experts.

Join Our Community

Support Resources

Learn how to get the most from the technical support you receive with your SUSE Subscription, Premium Support, Academic Program, or Partner Program.

SUSE Customer Support Quick Reference Guide SUSE Technical Support Handbook Update Advisories
Support FAQ

Open an Incident

Open an incident with SUSE Technical Support, manage your subscriptions, download patches, or manage user access.

Go to Customer Center