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Date:   Tue, 29 Jun 2021 15:10:35 -0400
From:   Gabriel Krisman Bertazi <>
        Gabriel Krisman Bertazi <>,
Subject: [PATCH v3 15/15] docs: Document the FAN_FS_ERROR event

Document the FAN_FS_ERROR event for user administrators and user space

Signed-off-by: Gabriel Krisman Bertazi <>

Changes since v1:
  - Drop references to location record
  - Explain that the inode field is optional
  - Explain we are reporting only the first error
 .../admin-guide/filesystem-monitoring.rst     | 70 +++++++++++++++++++
 Documentation/admin-guide/index.rst           |  1 +
 2 files changed, 71 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 Documentation/admin-guide/filesystem-monitoring.rst

diff --git a/Documentation/admin-guide/filesystem-monitoring.rst b/Documentation/admin-guide/filesystem-monitoring.rst
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..c0ab1ad268b8
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/admin-guide/filesystem-monitoring.rst
@@ -0,0 +1,70 @@
+.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
+File system Monitoring with fanotify
+fanotify supports the FAN_FS_ERROR mark for file system-wide error
+reporting.  It is meant to be used by file system health monitoring
+daemons who listen on that interface and take actions (notify sysadmin,
+start recovery) when a file system problem is detected by the kernel.
+By design, A FAN_FS_ERROR notification exposes sufficient information for a
+monitoring tool to know a problem in the file system has happened.  It
+doesn't necessarily provide a user space application with semantics to
+verify an IO operation was successfully executed.  That is outside of
+scope of this feature. Instead, it is only meant as a framework for
+early file system problem detection and reporting recovery tools.
+When a file system operation fails, it is common for dozens of kernel
+errors to cascade after the initial failure, hiding the original failure
+log, which is usually the most useful debug data to troubleshoot the
+problem.  For this reason, FAN_FS_ERROR only reports the first error that
+occurred since the last notification, and it simply counts addition
+errors.  This ensures that the most important piece of error information
+is never lost.
+FAN_FS_ERROR requires the fanotify group to be setup with the
+At the time of this writing, the only file system that emits FAN_FS_ERROR
+notifications is Ext4.
+A user space example code is provided at ``samples/fanotify/fs-monitor.c``.
+Notification structure
+A FAN_FS_ERROR Notification has the following format::
+  [ Notification Metadata (Mandatory) ]
+  [ Generic Error Record  (Mandatory) ]
+  [ FID record            (Mandatory) ]
+Generic error record
+The generic error record provides enough information for a file system
+agnostic tool to learn about a problem in the file system, without
+providing any additional details about the problem.  This record is
+identified by ``struct fanotify_event_info_header.info_type`` being set
+  struct fanotify_event_info_error {
+	struct fanotify_event_info_header hdr;
+	__s32 error;
+	__u32 error_count;
+  };
+The `error` field identifies the type of error. `error_count` count
+tracks the number of errors that occurred and were suppressed to
+preserve the original error, since the last notification.
+FID record
+The FID record can be used to uniquely identify the inode that triggered
+the error through the combination of fsid and file handler.  A
+filesystem specific handler can use that information to attempt a
+recovery procedure.  Errors that are not related to an inode are
+reported against the root inode.
diff --git a/Documentation/admin-guide/index.rst b/Documentation/admin-guide/index.rst
index dc00afcabb95..1bedab498104 100644
--- a/Documentation/admin-guide/index.rst
+++ b/Documentation/admin-guide/index.rst
@@ -82,6 +82,7 @@ configure specific aspects of kernel behavior to your liking.
+   filesystem-monitoring

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