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Date:	Thu, 22 Mar 2012 15:05:47 +0100
From:	Nikola Ciprich <>
Cc:, Radovan Mzik <>
Subject: running mkfs.ext4 causes very high system load


we've hit strange problem on one of our servers today.
We needed to add new logical volume, so created 320GB LV,
and tried to create ext4 using:

$ mkfs.ext4 /dev/vg/home2

the problem is, it progressed very slow, and seemed to block all
other applications currently trying to access disks, thus causing system load
jumping much over 150.

The system itself is not idle, but it's not too loaded too (loadavg is usually
<1), it's x86_64 centos5 running with 4GB RAM and common SATA drives.

I tried running mkfs.ext4 via ionice, but it didn't get much better.

we're using e2fsprogs-1.41.14

Is this common that mkfs can load system that much? Is it possible to
mitigate this negative effect somehow?

(I think that using 3.3 kernel might improve disk load handling, but
I need to stick to 2.6.32 for some more time)

thanks a lot in advance!


Ing. Nikola CIPRICH, s.r.o.
28. rijna 168, 709 01 Ostrava

tel.:   +420 596 603 142
fax:    +420 596 621 273
mobil:  +420 777 093 799

mobil servis: +420 737 238 656
email servis:

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