Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've recently been getting alerts from our server monitoring software about greater than 90% disk I/O utilisation.

I installed iotop and there are three instances of the following process showing up with very high IO:

% getfacl -R --absolute-names /var/www

Does this indicate a problem?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would say that is not normal/expected behaviour. Is somebody running a script to find certain types of files that might be regarded as dangerous? e.g. setuid springs to mind. Who is the user who owns the getfacl process? Maybe somebody is trying to backup the ACL's

share|improve this answer
The owner of the process is root. I'll check with the server hosts to see if they are running any backups. Thanks for the advice. – mrmike Feb 15 '13 at 11:17
A cron script had been setup to backup the ACL's every twenty minutes. I missed this as it was created by our server hosts. This only became a problem because the number of files on the server recently increased significantly. – mrmike Feb 15 '13 at 12:51
@mrmike 20 minutes is extreme for data that almost never changes. – Michael Hampton Feb 15 '13 at 15:03
@MichaelHampton true, I'm not sure why it was setup to run that often. The script now runs once every 24 hours. – mrmike Feb 16 '13 at 22:26

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.