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.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
File system Monitoring with fanotify
File system Error Reporting
Fanotify supports the FAN_FS_ERROR event type for file system-wide error
reporting. It is meant to be used by file system health monitoring
daemons, which listen for these events and take actions (notify
sysadmin, start recovery) when a file system problem is detected.
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 out of
scope for 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 tries to report only the first
error that occurred for a file system since the last notification, and
it simply counts additional errors. This ensures that the most
important pieces of information are 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 FAN_FS_ERROR Notification has the following format::
[ Notification Metadata (Mandatory) ]
[ Generic Error Record (Mandatory) ]
[ FID record (Mandatory) ]
The order of records is not guaranteed, and new records might be added
in the future. Therefore, applications must not rely on the order and
must be prepared to skip over unknown records. Please refer to
``samples/fanotify/fs-monitor.c`` for an example parser.
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 using errno values.
`error_count` tracks the number of errors that occurred and were
suppressed to preserve the original error information, since the last
FID record
The FID record can be used to uniquely identify the inode that triggered
the error through the combination of fsid and file handle. A file system
specific application can use that information to attempt a recovery
procedure. Errors that are not related to an inode are reported with an
empty file handle of type FILEID_INVALID.