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How to prevent too many filesystem checks

If you often switch your Linux computer on and off (for example because it is a laptop), it will check the filesystems at boot more often than necessary. Having to wait at unexpected times is annoying, and when this happens every few days and always just when you needed access to your data quickly, even more so.

Having a fixed time interval between these checks (so you know when they will happen) instead of checks happening when a counter reaches some number is much better. Configuring this is quite easy. First, look in /etc/fstab . In my case, the relevant lines are:

/dev/sda1 /boot ext2 defaults 0 1
/dev/sda3 / ext3 noatime 0 1
/dev/sda4 /home ext3 noatime 0 1

Now we know which device contains which always-mounted filesystem. To set the checks to be monthly, I run these commands:

tune2fs -c 0 -i 1m /dev/sda1
tune2fs -c 0 -i 1m /dev/sda3
tune2fs -c 0 -i 1m /dev/sda4

-c 0 means no mount counter will be used. If you would want a check at every 100th boot, you would use -c 100.

-i 1m means the filesystem will be checked every 1 month. Other examples of what could be used in combination with -i are 2d (2 days) or 3w (3 weeks).


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