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Date:	Wed, 10 Aug 2011 02:16:14 -0600
From:	Andreas Dilger <>
To:	Ric Wheeler <>
Cc:	"H. Peter Anvin" <>,
Subject: Re: Feature request: e2fsck -z

On 2011-08-10, at 12:34 AM, Ric Wheeler wrote:
> On 08/09/2011 06:52 PM, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> This is something I've wanted to see for a very long time, and it
>> finally occurred to me that perhaps I should say something about it!
>> It would be a very nice thing to have a flag to e2fsck, presumably -z,
>> to zero out any unused data blocks, inodes and so on.  The goal is to
>> minimize the amount of space required after compressing a virtual disk
>> image or similar, and to make sure any non-data isn't lying around.
> Do you need it to be in the fsck tool?
> If you have a sparsely allocated block map under your file system, doing a zero of all blocks could add hours for a big, slow S-ATA drives (2-3 hours for a 1TB drive).

I think Ted has a tool that does this already.  It should be relatively simple oo do, like "dd if=/dev/zero of=/mountpoint/temp_zero_file && rm /mountpoint/temp_zero_file.

> An alternative for SSD's and devices that do TRIM/UNMAP would be to use one of the batched discard tools (that would make discarded data read back as zeroed).

In fact, I thought Lukas has already made a tool for sending BLKDISCARD for all unused parts of the filesystem?

Cheers, Andreas

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