We have a server running Debian squeeze and randomly (once a month, more or less) the /var partition loses it's mounting point, so /var becomes a folder on / partition and main services start to fail.

Remounting the partition restores the mount point and everything return to it's normal behavior.

Has someone experienced this issue? May be it related to a hardware failure? Or software failure?

** 2012/05/24 UPDATE:** Due to @B14D3 request here is fstab's output. As you can see it is a tipical linux partition table with each partition formated as ext3. Note I've removed the disk's UUIDs.

proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
UUID=XXXX /               ext3    errors=remount-ro 0       1
UUID=XXXX /home           ext3    defaults        0       2
UUID=XXXX /var            ext3    defaults        0       2
/dev/sda3       none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/scd0       /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto     0       0

Say, there's another disk in the server but it isn't being mounted nor used.

  • Do you have trace from syslog ?
    – Yohann
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 21:18
  • There is nothing related to this failure.
    – Ander2
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 21:22
  • What type of file system you are mounting as var ? Local drive, nfs, iscsi...???
    – B14D3
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 8:54
  • Show output from fstab file...
    – B14D3
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


From your description it sounds like the kernel actually believes something explicitly unmounted filesystem from /var. I have not known Linux to "forget" that it had a mount in recent years. My suspicion falls on some cronjob/script unmounting the partition or dbus or someone confusing it for a USB device that has been removed. If this was hardware failure, the kernel will insist that the partition is mounted and generate error messages on access.

  • Your response sounds logical. I've checked log files and cron jobs, but I can't find nothing suspicious. Any clue in what else should do I check?
    – Ander2
    Commented May 25, 2012 at 10:41

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