Linux 'scandisk' and
Collated: Mike Andrew / Net Llama
For windoze-refugees, two questions are FAQ when it comes to
files and hard drives.
Short answer? You don't, you can't, you don't have to, stop
The extfs (extension 2 file system) that Linux OS operates
under is resistant to fragmented files. Fragmenting happens
when a file (of any size) will not 'fit' in a single space on
the hard drive. A single space means a continguous linear range
of sectors. Instead, the file is broken up to fit in a number
of spaces on the hard drive. These 'spaces', and their size,
occur randomly on a windoze file system as files are deleted.
The reason why fragmentation is a bad thing (tm), is that
reading linear sectors is AT LEAST 1000 x faster than seeking
over an entire disk surface.
To put it very simply, while not entirely accurate, Linux will
NOT split a file over a disk surface, instead, it finds the
most appropriate space.
Windows refugees soon come to terms with the Linux equivalent:
fsck. If only because, it runs each time the machine is
That's where the similarities end.
Scandisk is designed to give you the warm fuzzies on a file
system that most applications can seriously damage if they
fsck is a tool designed to seriously damage the file system,
if the super user misbehaves.
Linux is about security. Not even the super user can willy
nilly scribble over a mounted partition.
to do so:
> I would like to run fsck on my root directory without
having to reboot.
> Could someone tell me if this is possible and if so, how
do do it?
Sure its possible. (re)Booting has really no
relationship to running fsck. Remount / as readonly:
mount -o ro,remount /
THen run the fsck as normal. When done, remount / as
mount -o rw,remount /
ANd you're done.