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.

Environment

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

 

Situation

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

Resolution

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 2.6.16.54-0.2.8 which is available as an on-line update.


Workaround

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
barrier=0
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.

Background

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.

Disclaimer

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

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