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My set up: An embedded device with flash memory on it. Flash is partitioned into ext3 filesystem partitions. Have busybox on it.

My Goal: To uncover errors /bugs/ problems on ext3 filesystems.

Linux version: Not the latest and greatest: linux-2.6.31

What tests should I run to uncover potential problems in the ext3 filesystem?

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"Using it" is a good way of testing. –  Chris Down Feb 24 '12 at 23:16
    
@ChrisDown But that's not good enough! –  abc Feb 25 '12 at 1:59
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fsck.ext3 -f? If absent from your system, find or build a suitable binary. Worst case you'll have to cross-compile one. –  Ingmar Hupp Feb 25 '12 at 3:53
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I'm confused. Are you asking to seek out filesystem bugs or filesystem errors? –  Chris Down Feb 25 '12 at 10:34
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Given how much ext3 has spread and how much it's used (including enterprise environments), you may be very hard-pressed to find bugs in the code. I've managed hundreds of ext3 filesystems and the only issues I ever encountered were due to one incident where bad (non-ECC) RAM corrupted data before it was committed to disk. And that wasn't even due to the filesystem. Have you considered looking at the kernel Changelog for the filesystem? –  Alexios Mar 28 '12 at 10:24
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closed as not a real question by psusi, vonbrand, slm, Renan, Chris Down May 10 '13 at 19:15

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2 Answers

A good stress test could shake out some filesystem bugs. Checkout the stress tests available at the Linux Test Project. LTP's tests are listed here and there is a file system section.

As far as filesystem errors, try tests that simulate an unexpected power failure while a file is being written. You can do this by writing a script that continuously writes data to a file and then simulate the power failure by pulling the plug or doing a forced unmount of the file system (i.e "umount -f").

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Check out LTP (Linux Test Project), a collection of utilities to test all sorts of Linux subsystems (including filesystems). And yes, this is used routinely by the kernel developers, so unless you dig in and complete/extend some of the tests (or run an unusual setup) I guess you'll not find much in the way of unknown bugs. But knock yourself out.

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