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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

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e2fsck [options] device fsck.ext2 [options] device

System administration command. Checks and repairs a disk, as does fsck, but specifically designed for ext2 (Linux Second Extended) and ext3 (Third Extended, a journaling version of ext2) filesystems. fsck actually uses this command when checking ext2 and ext3 filesystems. Most often used after a sudden shutdown, such as from a power outage, or when damage to the disk is suspected.


-b superblock

Use superblock instead of the default superblock.


Find bad blocks using the badblocks command. Specify this option twice to perform the scan with a nondestructive read-write test.


Debugging mode.


Force checking, even if kernel has already marked the filesystem as valid. e2fsck will normally exit without checking if the system appears to be clean.

-j file

Use the specified external journal file.


Preserve all previously marked bad blocks when using the -c option.

-l file

Consult file for a list of bad blocks, in addition to checking for others.


Ensure that no changes are made to the filesystem. When queried, answer "no."


"Preen." Repair all bad blocks noninteractively.


Byte-swap the filesystem if necessary to standard (little-endian) byte-order.


Display timing statistics.




When queried, answer "yes."

-B size

Expect to find the superblock at size; if it's not there, exit.

-C filedescriptor

Write completion information to the specified filedescriptor. If 0, print a completion bar.


Optimize directories by reindexing, sorting, and compressing them where possible.


Flush buffer caches before checking.

-L file

Consult file for list of bad blocks instead of checking filesystem for them.


Byte-swap the filesystem.

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