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I was trying to install ruby with :

sudo apt-get install ruby1.8

output:

W: Not using locking for read only lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock
E: Unable to write to /var/cache/apt/
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

Output of sudo dpkg --configure -a

dpkg: unable to access dpkg status area: Read-only file system 

output of mount

/dev/sda3 on / type ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro)
tmpfs on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)
/dev/sda1 on /boot type ext4 (rw)
/dev/sdb1 on /home type ext4 (rw)

mount: warning: /etc/mtab is not writable (e.g. read-only filesystem).
       It's possible that information reported by mount(8) is not
       up to date. For actual information about system mount points
       check the /proc/mounts file.

Output of

cat /proc/mounts



rootfs / rootfs rw 0 0
none /sys sysfs rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime 0 0
none /proc proc rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime 0 0
none /dev devtmpfs rw,relatime,size=1553128k,nr_inodes=216450,mode=755 0 0
none /dev/pts devpts rw,nosuid,noexec,relatime,gid=5,mode=620,ptmxmode=000 0 0
/dev/disk/by-uuid/cf4fb4ae-6d12-407b-bf43-3b0daaaaaf74 / ext4 ro,relatime,errors=remount-ro,barrier=1,data=ordered 0 0
tmpfs /lib/init/rw tmpfs rw,nosuid,relatime,mode=755 0 0
tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime 0 0
/dev/sda1 /boot ext4 rw,relatime,barrier=1,data=ordered 0 0
/dev/sdb1 /home ext4 rw,relatime,barrier=1,data=ordered 0 0

output of dmesg (some last part)

[1968636.237601] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1968772.229102] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1968789.799409] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1968990.325125] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1969190.801848] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1969192.245363] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1969197.698223] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1969223.105506] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1969349.119764] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1969398.205686] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1969598.713179] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1969607.241633] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1969799.220758] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1969825.462909] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1969831.231049] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1969999.728348] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1970200.247944] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 56
[1970221.321558] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8
[1970253.105491] JBD2: Detected IO errors while flushing file data on sdb1-8

. /var/log/syslog do not have updated log

  1. What should I do in order to have my file system read write without loosing all my data ?
  2. Is it appropriate to do sudo mount / -o remount,rw ? What other option do I have ?

NOTE: System is debian vm running in ESXI server.

share|improve this question
    
Make a backup, ideally offline. Then check your file system and your hard disk's SMART values. –  scai Aug 30 '12 at 6:32
    
For authentication i need to add access constraint in client server's etc/a_system_file but its read only. Please recommend a good backup application to take backup of remote server. –  Subhransu Aug 30 '12 at 6:34
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Your virtual harddisk is broken. That happens a lot. Best to backup your files and ask an admin to restore an older, archived, version of it. You can try a sudo shutdown -rF now to make your system reboot and force a filesystem check before mounting, but your dmesg output reads like a broken harddisk.

share|improve this answer
    
but this is a virtual machine –  Subhransu Aug 30 '12 at 7:45
    
How to setup backup if the filesystem is read only –  Subhransu Aug 30 '12 at 7:51
    
Even if it's virtual it can break. How to setup backup is something you need to find out by talking to the people running the host/cluster on which your VM situated. If you have another computer/vm available you can always create copies using scp and other tools. There won't be a real "backup" solution. Just save the important files ... even if it means emailing them to yourself. –  Bananguin Aug 30 '12 at 8:04
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