Fix volume errors using Filesystem Check


Over the course of normal operation, the filesystems on volumes can accrue damage and errors. Filesystem Check or fsck is a tool that reports and fixes filesystem issues. This feature allows you to do the following:

  • Report issues found on the filesystem
  • Fix only issues that fsck deems safe to fix
  • For expert users, fix all reported issues

In order to mitigate data loss due to incorrect fsck fixes to the filesystem, Portworx creates a snapshot of the volume before attempting any fixes. If unintended changes occur, you can use this snapshot to recover your volume to its original state. Portworx does not automatically delete this snapshot, you should manually validate your data in the filesystem and delete the snapshot only when you’re sure everything is as expected.

In addition to running when manually requested, Portworx runs fsck transparently before mounting volumes and fixes safe-to-fix errors. This can happen when the volume has a deferred volume resize operation pending during mount or the previous volume resize failed due errors in the filesystem.

WARNING: When Filesystem Check fixes errors, it modifies the filesystem metadata and can sometimes lead to unexpected changes to the filesystem. Pay close attention to the issues reported by fsck and ensure you understand the impact of proceeding before letting it fix unsafe issues.
NOTE:

  • This feature is currently available only for ext4 filesystems.
  • Filesystem check can be performed only on unmounted volume
  • You cannot detach a volume when filesystem check is running on it.
  • You can only run 1 instance of Filesystem check on a volume at-a-time
  • You can only run 1 instance of Filesystem check per system. This is to reduce the impact on IO performance for user workloads running on that node.
  • You must start filesystem check operations from the node on which the volume’s storage is mounted

You can use fsck by entering pxctl commands on the node which contains your volume and mounted block storage:

Check a volume’s health

  1. Open a shell session with the Portworx node that contains the volume you intend to check the health of.

  2. Unmount the volume.

  3. Start the volume check operation by entering the pxctl volume check start command with the --mode flag set to check_health and specify the name of the volume you want to check:

    pxctl volume check start --mode check_health <volume_name>
  4. View the results of the volume check operation by entering the pxctl volume check status command, specifying the name of the volume you want to check:

    pxctl volume check status <volume_name>

    The command will output any issues present on the volume and whether or not they’re considered safe to fix by Filesystem Check.

  5. Mount the volume.

Fix issues

Once you’ve checked your volume’s health and determined if the issues can be fixed by fsck safely, you can instruct Portworx to fix the issues. Before it performs a fix operation, Portworx creates a volume snapshot to help you recover your data in case something goes wrong.

  1. Open a shell session with the Portworx node that contains the volume you intend to fix issues for.

  2. Unmount the volume.

  3. Enter the pxctl volume check start command with the --mode flag set to either fix_safe or fix_all, and specify the name of the volume you want to fix issues on:

    • To fix safe issues:
    pxctl volume check start --mode fix_safe <volume_name>
    • To fix all issues:
    pxctl volume check start --mode fix_all <volume_name>
    WARNING: fix_all is a risky operation and may result in data loss on the volume. Ensure you understand the impact of using this flag and make appropriate backups before attempting to run it.
  4. Verify the data on your volume has been fixed by entering the pxctl volume check status command with the name of your volume:

    pxctl volume check status <volume_name>
  5. Mount the volume.

  6. (Optional) Once you’re confident that the fix operation was successful, you can delete the backup snapshot:

    pxctl volume delete <snapshot_name>

pxctl volume check reference

pxctl volume check start

pxctl volume check start --mode [check_health | fix_all | fix_safe] <volume_name>

Description Arguments Flags
Start a filesystem check operation on the block device and volume you specify <volume_name>: The name of the volume on which you want to perform a filesystem check operation --mode: Determines which mode filesystem check operates in.

Values: check_health, fix_all, fix_safe

WARNING: fix_all is a risky operation and may result in data loss on the volume. Ensure you understand the impact of using this flag and make appropriate backups before attempting to run it.

Examples

  • Check an example volume’s health:

    pxctl volume check start --mode check_health exampleVolume
  • Fix an example volume’s safe issues:

    pxctl volume check start --mode fix_safe exampleVolume

pxctl volume check status

pxctl volume check status <volume_name>

Description Arguments Flags
Show the status of a Filesystem Check operation currently running on a volume you specify. <volume_name> : The name of the volume you want to check the status Filesystem Check operation status for

Examples

  • Check an example volume’s health:

    pxctl volume check status exampleVolume

pxctl volume check stop

pxctl volume check stop <volume_name>

CAUTION: This operation may lead to partially fixed filesystem errors and potentially cause further corruption.
Description Arguments Flags
Stop a Filesystem Check operation currently running on a volume you specify. <volume_name>: The name of the volume you want to stop Filesystem Check operations on

Examples

  • Stop Filesystem Check operations an example volume:

    pxctl volume check stop exampleVolume


Last edited: Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020