I have a problem. chattr +e <file> does not work, if the file does not have the +e attr set on it, or if it's removed and re-added.

[root@ip-203-0-113-13 log]# df -Th
Filesystem     Type      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
devtmpfs       devtmpfs  3.8G     0  3.8G   0% /dev
tmpfs          tmpfs     3.8G     0  3.8G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs          tmpfs     3.8G  388K  3.8G   1% /run
tmpfs          tmpfs     3.8G     0  3.8G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/nvme0n1p1 ext4       30G  1.2G   28G   5% /
tmpfs          tmpfs     763M     0  763M   0% /run/user/1000
[root@ip-203-0-113-13 log]# df -ih
Filesystem     Inodes IUsed IFree IUse% Mounted on
devtmpfs         950K   343  949K    1% /dev
tmpfs            953K     1  953K    1% /dev/shm
tmpfs            953K   389  953K    1% /run
tmpfs            953K    17  953K    1% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/nvme0n1p1   1.9M   97K  1.8M    6% /
tmpfs            953K     5  953K    1% /run/user/1000
[root@ip-203-0-113-13 log]# find /tmp -type f | wc -l
[root@ip-203-0-113-13 tmp]# touch bar
[root@ip-203-0-113-13 tmp]# chattr -e bar
[root@ip-203-0-113-13 tmp]# chattr +e bar
chattr: No space left on device while setting flags on bar


There is plenty of space on the device and plenty of inodes free, so why is chattr +e failing? If it makes a difference, I'm seeing this failure on Fedora 28 on EC2. I'm not seeing on SUSE 42 on EC2 (yet?)


I ran strace on the command. I'm not sure if it's helpful, but it seems interesting...

  • What filesystems are in use - df -T output ? – user9517 May 21 at 21:06
  • @Iain ext4, apparently – Wayne Werner May 21 at 21:42
  • does chmod +e work when chattr is breaking or give you a better error? – Martin Barker May 21 at 22:28
  • @MartinBarker chmod: invalid mode: ‘+e’, so... no I don't think so – Wayne Werner May 22 at 0:07
  • @WayneWerner oh sorry I did not mean exactly I meant for the correct group (so Owner, group or other) so can you try chmod o+e <file> replacing <file> with your file name? you will need to set that back i just want to see if you can modify permissions it might provide an error that might help or tell us it could be a busted FileSystem – Martin Barker May 22 at 0:10

If you check manual this parameter is not suppose to alter, I am surprised you are able to remove, since it is not able to find contiguous area it is showing above error.

Extent format   e   (unavailable)   
The e attribute indicates that the file is using extents for mapping the blocks on disk
  • Yeah, I read that in the docs too. But (clearly?) I'm able to remove it. I just can't put it back. – Wayne Werner May 22 at 2:06
  • Hmm. That's a good point. It doesn't even make sense to try to "remove" this attribute. Now I'm surprised that anything at all happened. – Michael Hampton May 22 at 2:10
  • I think you can't do without reboot(still not sure), but may be it is removed from app level and come back post reboot. – asktyagi May 22 at 2:10
  • Somehow we've got a file that exists without this attribute. I'm not sure where the attribute is getting removed, but when we try to add it, things fail badly. – Wayne Werner May 22 at 2:19

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