The ext2/3/4 filesystem checker has two options that seem to be very similar, -p and -y.

Both seem to perform an automatic repair, but the manpage states that -p can exit when it encounters certain errors while for -y no such thing is mentioned. Is this the only difference?

1 Answer 1


There is a specific difference which when we read it twice might make more sense.

-p - Automatically repair the file system without any questions.
-y - Assume an answer of `yes' to all questions.

So fsck -p will try to fix the file system automatically without any user intervention. It is most likely to take decisions such as yes or no by itself.

However, fsck -y will just assume yes for all questions.

An example can be thought like,

If some changes need to be made in a partition, fsck -y will just go ahead and assume yes and make the changes.

However, fsck -p will take the correct decision which can be either yes or no.

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