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I am considering setting the reserved block percentage to 0% (tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sdb1) for an ext4 partition. The partition is only used by non-privileged users anyway.

Let's say I mistakenly fill up the partition to 100% and the filesystem becomes corrupt. Does fsck require some free disk space to be able to run? I obviously would like to be able to repair the file system if it breaks.

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This answer states:

Reserved space is there for a reason: it lowers the fragmentation chances and saves some space for fsck. It is reserved only from users, but root (and thus all your software installs) can fully use it. If you think 5% is excessive, leave at least 1% .

So, I guess the answer is; Yes, fsck needs some space available to run.

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