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I'm currently looking at an issue with data loss and was using the tune2fs utility, and I was wondering what 'Last write time:' refers to. The volume is written to constantly and backups confirm that the data that I lost has been backed up, but I just want to understand what that field means as it can't be the last time data was written to disk (there are files on the disk with newer creation times than the last write time).

  • Because I can see newly created files that have been written to that disk with a newer creation time compared to the 'Last write time'? – mcastaldo Apr 10 at 15:37
  • Since you figured that out, it’s always helpful to write it in the question ;-). – Stephen Kitt Apr 10 at 15:50
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The “Last write time” in tune2fs’ output reflects the last time the super block was written. This doesn’t change when files are written to the device, only when certain pieces of information stored in the super block change — in particular, when the devices is mounted, or when its recovery status changes, or when an error is encountered.

  • What "last write time" actually means seems subject to much debate. Because one time it should most definitely indicate it was re-written is before an orderly shutdown, and that's not happening. – Julie in Austin Jun 17 at 18:57

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