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What does it mean "Structure needs cleaning" ? I've never seen such error code before - and man cp is not that helpful.

It has happened to me on ext4.

I was trying to copy directory using:

cp -arv dirname dirname.bak
  • What commands are you trying to run? – nehcsivart Apr 11 '16 at 22:14
  • @tchen Thanks for suggestion! Improved question with that crucial detail – Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Apr 11 '16 at 22:16
  • @Wildcard - hands made me surprise. Of course man cp - thanks! – Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Apr 11 '16 at 22:17
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Some googling told me that there was a patch to ext4 last year that mentions returning EUCLEAN upon an out of space error. E.g. https://patchwork.ozlabs.org/patch/452275/

The fix is either to run e2fsck -E bmap2extent, or to chattr +e the file.

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Finally it turned out that problem was one level below.

To be more specific, I had an partition.img image file, on external usb ntfs harddrive. The problem happened to ntfs partition, which started to report 0 free bytes, despite it should have 800GiB... therefore, writes stopped to be possible on underlying drive, so loop-mounted ext4 drive couldn't operate and started to report errors as described above.

Let me mart Ralph's answer as solution, as this gave me a hint in driving further investigation.

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