NLPOS 9 - Filesystem goes readonly when the write cache is turned off

This document (3204115) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


Novell Linux Point of Service 9SSP2
IBM Cash registers4800-741, 4800-781and 4840-563


When switching off the harddrive caching using the command

"hdparm -W0 /dev/hda"

the root file system will go to read only mode after a while.


The bootparameter "barrier=off" solves this issue. Example from the branchserver's


---------------------------------------- cite ----------------------------------------------------------------

DEFAULT netboot

LABEL netboot
kernel linux
# panic=x: on kernel panic, reboot after x seconds
append initrd=initrd.gz panic=60 acpi=off ramdisk_size=400000 barrier=off

---------------------------------------- /cite ----------------------------------------------------------------

Please note that this will mount all partitions without barriers.

Additional Information

Under certain conditions the above solution may not be suitable for you, as e.g. IBM PXE lacks the functionality
to hand over kernel boot parameters. In this case edit /etc/fstab and add a barrier parameter to the
mount options of your root filesystem.

For ext3 add "barrier=0"
for reiserfs add "barrier=none"

Example for ext3:

/dev/hda2 / ext3 defaults,barrier=0 1 1

After editing, remount the filesystem to activate the change (no reboot required!)

mount / -o remount


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:3204115
  • Creation Date: 21-May-2007
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service

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