We’ve received reports from two users on two distinct physical hosts about severe file corruption after they upgraded to Debian Buster. For one of them, the filesystem corruption showed up approximately a week after the upgrade. For another it was several weeks.
These specific users were running an older file system called ext3, but we’re still gathering data to attempt to isolate the issue. Right now we think it may be related to the latest Debian kernel version 4.19.118+2+deb10u1 and the Xen hypervisor, or it may be specific to ext3.
We believe that if the problem is specific to Xen, linux-image-4.19.0-8-amd64/4.19.98-1 should be safe. This is the version present in our current image for Debian Buster.
This article offers some information about what to do if you are using an EXT3 filesystem, have installed Buster, or are considering either of these choices.
For customers currently running Buster, please take note of the “Information Wanted” section.
Regardless of your choice of distribution, if you are using EXT3, you might want to consider migrating your filesystem to EXT4. EXT3 is quite old, and incompatibility issues are more likely to occur using it.
Planning to install Buster?
Before installing, please do the following.
Check your file system
Check to see if your filesystem is ext3. Use the command:
$ df -T
Filesystem Type 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on udev devtmpfs 15080720 1508072 0% /dev tmpfs tmpfs 306488 1072305416 1% /run **/dev/sda1 ext4 20509264 17468740 1975668 90% /**
Check the “Type” column for the filesystem that shows “/” in the “Mounted ON” column. The corresponding line is bolded in the above sample. In this case, the filesystem is ext4.
If your filesystem type shows as EXT4, ZFS, or any other filesystem that isn’t EXT3, you can continue installing Buster.
If you have ext3, upgrade to ext4
It is strongly suggested that you switch to ext4 before upgrading to Buster. Follow this procedure:
Post-update or install changes
To downgrade your kernel, the following procedure should suffice. You should reboot immediately once it is complete.
sudo apt-get install linux-image-4.19.0-8-amd64 sudo apt-get remove linux-image-4.19.0-9-amd64
Select “no” when the package manager asks if you would like to abort removal of the running kernel.
Once you have downgraded and performed a reboot, verify with:
uname -a |grep '4\.19\.0-8'
If you already have Buster installed, we would greatly appreciate your assistance in tracking down when this bug occurs. We would like to know your kernel version and some filesystem metadata. Please run the following commands:
df -T > busterdata uname -r >> busterdata uptime >> busterdata /sbin/ip -4 addr list eth0 >> busterdata
Send it to us.
Send the output file to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your host name and “Buster Data” in the subject line.
And of course, if you have any problems with a Buster installation or anything else, let us know.