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Date:   Wed, 13 Apr 2022 10:23:31 +0800
From:   Zhang Yi <>
To:     Theodore Ts'o <>,
        Gabriel Krisman Bertazi <>
CC:     <>, <>,
        <>, <>, <>,
        <>, <>
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH] ext4: add unmount filesystem message

On 2022/4/13 9:35, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 12, 2022 at 12:01:37PM -0400, Gabriel Krisman Bertazi wrote:
>> Zhang Yi <> writes:
>>> Now that we have kernel message at mount time, system administrator
> "Now that we have...." is a bit misleading, since (at least to an
> English speaker) that this is something that was recently added, and
> that's not the case.
>>> could acquire the mount time, device and options easily. But we don't
>>> have corresponding unmounting message at umount time, so we cannot know
>>> if someone umount a filesystem easily. Some of the modern filesystems
>>> (e.g. xfs) have the umounting kernel message, so add one for ext4
>>> filesystem for convenience.
>>>  EXT4-fs (sdb): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Quota mode: none.
>>>  EXT4-fs (sdb): unmounting filesystem.
>> I don't think sysadmins should be relying on the kernel log for this,
>> since the information can easily be overwritten by new messages there.
>> Is there a reason why you can't just monitor /proc/self/mountinfo?
> You're right that it can be dangerous for sysadmins to be relying on
> the kernel log for mount and umount notifications --- but it depends
> on what they think it means, and the potential pitfalls are there for
> both the mount and unmount messages.  The problem of course, is that
> bind mounts, and mount name spaces, so if the question is whether a
> file system is available at a particular mount point, then using the
> kernel log is definitely not going to be reliable.
> But if the goal is to determine whether a particular device is safe to
> run fsck or otherwise access directly, or for the purposes of
> debugging the kernel and looking at the logs to understand when the
> device is being accessed by the kernel and when the file system is
> done with the device, I can see how it might be useful.

Yes, I understand that the kernel log is not reliable, and
/proc/self/mountinfo neither. Our goal is simple, As Ted said, just add a
method to help sysadmins to know whether a particular ext4 device is really
doing unmount procedure, it could be helpful for us to debug kernel and
locate kernel bug.


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