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17

Here's an article on How To Geek about how ext2/ext3 allocates files on the disk. And they also have an article asking "Do you really need to defrag?" On why FAT becomes fragmented: "When you save a file to a FAT file system, [the file is saved] as close to the start of the disk as possible. When you save a second file, [the file is saved] right after ...


11

Fragmentation is always a concern no matter what the filesystem. Ext3/Ext2, though, have minimized the problem to the point where most admins just operate as if it's not a concern. This is minimized by use of a competent I/O scheduler and by the filesystem leaving trailing space after each file to accommodate growing. On top of that, additional fragments are ...


4

Your home directory is meant to be used for your own files, which means that you definitely can use it with different distributions. Problem can arise if you use different version of the same software, older one could break because of incompatible changes in config files, but that should not be the case if versions are not very distant.


4

One thing I would do is have a look at /var/log/syslog. It's where Linux kernel and a bunch of other programs (dhclient, NetworkManager, acpid, dbus, ...) log some of their messages. It's extra nice because it will include which log line belongs to which program.


4

Answering your questions, one by one: Why don't you have to defrag a Linux system? Because it's using the ext2/ext3 file system or because it's Linux? Because ext2/3/4 have a different approach about the files and folders, so they barely get fragmented. Others have already answered about it, and you can read more details here That's relevant, ...


3

In the end, it's down to the file system drivers within the OS. ext2 and FAT file systems are both methods to record which blocks on disk belong to which file. When not all block of a file are contiguous, the file is called fragmented. But as should be obvious, fragmentation is caused by the block allocation strategy when writing a file, not by how you ...


3

Select a Linux distribution "for enterprise use", install just the packages needed for its job (extra packages mean extra vulnerable surface), don't install any "unofficial packages" unless strictly required (and then only carefully considered ones for stability and upstream responsiveness to security problems, and track record/commitment to not trampling on ...


3

Configuration management softwares, have been designed to solve this exact problem. You could start with puppet or chef and see what suits your purpose.


2

I think tmpwatch or tmpreaper might do what you need. Both are already in the respective distros. # CentOS yum install tmpwatch # Debian/Ubuntu aptitidue install tmpreaper


1

Failing HDD? When a system prompts you in this way it almost always means that the underlying HDDs are failing and/or have defects that require user intervention to repair. I would go through the recovery process that it wants you to, to see if it can't recover the breaking/broken inode clusters and then use something like HDAT2 and/or SpinRite on the ...


1

Couple things would make the creation of a tool like this problematic: The kernel doesn't keep directory or file-specific file size histories (like it does with memory usage, I/O activity, or CPU time), so anything written would have to be in userspace. Even if something were written using inotify or something, on busy servers the overhead of a user space ...


1

Spring cleaning is always a good idea. It also keeps the (mandatory!) backup-before-upgrade manageable. As @gelraen says, be careful with configuration files in your $HOME (the name, format, contents can change from one version to the next). I usually stash copies away for later analysis so in case something refuses to work I can just blow away ...


1

First a generality: timestamps are crucial. Use NTP to sync your system's clock, make sure that the clock is not wobbling all over the place. After that, you can move on to the basics. I would suggest running Michal Zalewski's p0f and logging its guesses about incoming TCP requests. I'm using version 2, but Zalewski has a version 3 out. CERT at Carnegie ...



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