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I have an ubuntu server virtual machine that crashed and I was forced to reset the virtual machine. When I booted, it did an automatic fsck, but I want to make sure that the filesystem is ok. I have searched for instructions on how to run fsck from an ubuntu live cd, but none of the instructions work!

The version of the ubuntu server live cd is 10.04.2 and when the live cd menu appears I chose "Rescue mode". I then went through the questions (similar to those during installation) and the final prompt asks you to choose a "device to use as root file system". I read online that I shouldn't mount the root file system if I want to run fsck, so I chose the option "do not use a root file system". Next option I selected was "execute a shell in the installer environment". I now get a command prompt, but when I try to run fsck /dev/sda1 I get "fsck not found".

I'm completely lost and even the "Official Ubuntu Server 2nd edition" book doesn't explain the procedure properly.

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whereis fsck or which fsck? You might have to run the full path to the binary to get it to run. – Bart Silverstrim Jan 25 '12 at 20:32
@BartSilverstrim I've just been following what I've read online and in the official ubuntu server book were all those source just state to run "fsck ....". As I've never run fsck before from live cd I have no idea where to look that's why I've tried searching online, but those sources have not been of any help. Where should I look? – joshu Jan 25 '12 at 20:44
At the command prompt, you can try running "whereis fsck" or "which fsck" and see what the results are. – Bart Silverstrim Jan 25 '12 at 20:48
On my working system it's /sbin/fsck. I haven't checked the livecd version. Or if it's on your server and you have the filesystem mounted you can run the binary version from there if the versions match between your running copy and the compiled version on disk. – Bart Silverstrim Jan 25 '12 at 20:49
@BartSilverstrim No luck with either whereas or which. Both commands result in "not found". It's incredible how badly running fsck from a live cd is documented. – joshu Jan 25 '12 at 21:43
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I would guess that the Ubuntu Server LiveCD is using busybox or a very minimal ash setup - fsck may not be available. I tend to find a "desktop" LiveCD/LiveUSB very handy for such situations, either Ubuntu Desktop or a "rescue" distro like Parted Magic; sometimes both, depending on exactly what you need to do to the system in question.

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I asked the same question on because I was in a hurry to solve this last night. Someone replied with the same explanation that I should use the desktop live cd. Really odd to use desktop iso to fix a server os, but if that's the way it works then I guess I'll remember this for next time. Thanks – joshu Jan 26 '12 at 14:18

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