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I've got a Ubuntu system which is writing a block to disk every 1-2 seconds. Some kind of log accruing an error. How do I find which file it is?

I've been poring over lsof output and tailing suspects with no luck. Is there a way to find it, really find it?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 15 '11 at 7:15

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What makes you think something is writing to the disk every 1 -2 seconds? Are you basing this off the drive LEDs? It can be very tricky to get Linux to minimize writes to the disk. Some disk flushes happen automatically every few seconds. –  mfarver May 15 '11 at 20:00

4 Answers 4

Maybe you can check which process is writing frequently to disk with iotop, then spy this process with strace.

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yea, iotop, that's the ticket, looks like it's just jbd2 .... –  qbxk May 14 '11 at 21:52

You could use inotifywatch(1). Something like this should get you closer

inotifywatch -v -e modify  -r /root
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Interesting. I was not familiar with that command. –  ewwhite May 15 '11 at 22:42

Besides the other answers, you could also try just using find / -mtime -1 to list files recently modified.

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I've done iostat to find what disk was getting the access, then lsof|grep to find files, perhaps look at what looks like log files, filter out tcp or something.

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