View Full Version : File in fc4: lastlog

20th April 2006, 05:10 AM
I am testing a new Linux backup program that supposed to do it all: kdar.
Ive installed it in both Ubuntu (breezy) and SUSE 10 (eval). On the same fixed SATA hard drive are Gentoo, Kanotix and XP Pro-64 (from Microstuff) all are installed and working fine.
KDAR backup works OK on all of them except maybe Fedora fc4.
The first try on fc4 backup goes to 2% or 99M and just seems to get stuck and go no further.
The second time I noticed that it was stuck on /var/log/lastlog.
A closer exam of this file shows that the size is 1000G+ and no editor can open it because it is too large ! Thats amazing since fc4 is only on a 6GB partition.
The third time I elected to "exclude" the file from backup and the backup went good.
I renamed the file lastlog.old and with nano created a new lastlog. Copying the old file also failed.
Question is does anybody know what this file does or how critical it is ?

20th April 2006, 08:24 AM
Sounds like it's a regular logfile with a corrupt size entry. It will probably be repaired if you do an fsck on that volume (when it's unmounted).

20th April 2006, 08:52 AM
lastlog is a sparse file (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparse_file), the space it occupies on disk is much smaller than its "length". There's nothing wrong with the file or the file system. You need a backup tool that understands sparse files if you don't want to exclude lastlog.

21st April 2006, 01:40 AM
I do fsck and dosfsck before each backup and prior to mounting. I think thats not the problem.
I understand sparse file (thank you) what I dont understand is why this gets in the way of
a backup.
There are other problems with fc4 too like unable to execute fsck and chroot to name a
couple. Fc2 worked with everything.
I am going to try to boot fc4 again with the new "lastlog" I have just created.
Im wondering how do you create a "sparse file" ?