I turn my Linux computer off and when I turn it on it runs disk check (fsck) on hard disk. Why?

last updated in Categories Gnome, Howto, Kde, Linux, Linux desktop, Ubuntu Linux

A typical question asked by many new Linux users. The answer is pretty simple:


Your partitions are not being unmounted properly when you last shutdown the Linux desktop. Linux needs to shutdown properly (I’m sure this applies to Windows and Mac OS too) before powered off. If you skip this step there could be data loss.

If you are using text based session (CLI), type following command as privileged user:
shutdown -h now

If you are using GUI (KDE / Gnome or any other Windows Manager) click on System > Quit button. Look out for shutdown button.

Do not unplug the power supply. Also use UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) to protect data and to avoid other problems. I recommend APC ups for continuous supply of electric power.

Updated for accuracy.


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

7 comment

  1. you can also adjust file ext2/ext3 system parameters on partitions via tune2fs.

    if you regularly turn off your pc, and you leave the file system defaults, the drives will fsck on a routine schedule (e.g. every 30 mounts or 120 days…).

    “man tune2fs” to learn more.

  2. Not ‘-r’ but rather ‘-h’. -r does a reboot, while -h does a halt, which should power your computer down.

  3. Jonathan, thanks for pointing out small issue.

    Shawn, correct, but I don’t think so new user is going to play with that option.

    Artem, thanks for sharing tutorial.

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