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Model-Based Failure Analysis of Journaling File Systems

Vijayan Prabhakaran, Andrea C. Arpaci-Dusseau, and Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau


We propose a novel method to measure the robustness of journaling file systems under disk write failures. In our approach, we build models of how journaling file systems order disk writes under different journaling modes and use these models to inject write failures during file system updates. Using our technique, we analyze if journaling file systems maintain on-disk consistency in the presence of disk write failures. We apply our technique to three important Linux journaling file systems: ext3, Reiserfs, and IBM JFS. From our analysis, we identify several design flaws and correctness bugs in these file systems, which can cause serious file system errors ranging from data corruption to unmountable file systems.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN-2005)
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
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