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Thread: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    Hi all,
    Using openSUSE 12.2 with gnome (3.4), I encountered weird behaviour of unmounting external drives, especially flash drives.
    The thing is:
    When I copy large file(s) to the flash drive, the copy dialog finishes much sooner than the files are actually written, due to heavy cache usage.
    If I try to unmount it while the copy dialog is open, it shouts that a program is still using the drive, as it should. HOWEVER, if it is already closed (but files are still being writen - the LED indicator flashes), unmounting the drive is succesfull, but the cache contents are still being written to the drive!
    When the drive is very slow, it can take more than few minutes for the write to finish. I see no way to tell if I can already remove the drive (other than the LED). Even iftop doesn't list it as a disk operation. I can see some correlation between the end of the writing and release of some cache assigned RAM space, but this is not really good method (especially when deleting files useless).
    It is painful because I'm going to buy flash drive without the LED indicator.

    I understand that the copy dialog is finished before it is physically there (small files & media with limited write cycles). But I'm convinced, that enabling unmount before the cache contents are written, and thus providing no way to tell if it's safe to remove the drive, is just wrong.

    Basically, I have two questions:
    Is there any way to know, if all I/O operations are finished (other than the LED indicator)?
    Should this be filed as a bug somewhere?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    To be more specific (and sorry for not finding the edit post button),
    by unmount, I mean here unmounting via nautilus or the bottom left corner tray (it seems they do completely the same), not a CLI umount.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    On 2012-11-19 01:16, Tomaskom wrote:

    ....

    > If I try to unmount it while the copy dialog is open, it shouts that a
    > program is still using the drive, as it should. HOWEVER, if it is
    > already closed (but files are still being writen - the LED indicator
    > flashes), unmounting the drive is succesfull, but the cache contents are
    > still being written to the drive!


    It smells to me of a nasty bug. Please report in Bugzilla.

    openSUSE:Submitting bug
    reports


    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" (Minas Tirith))

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    in KDE you get somewhat the same behaviour - as in the progress indicator has completed but files are still being written.
    The difference in KDE though is that if you try to unmount / remove the device while writing is still occurring you do not get the "the device can be safely removed" message. I think the message you get is something like - "preparing for removal"
    So the lack of any kind of indication would seem to be a gnome / nautilus bug.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomaskom View Post
    To be more specific (and sorry for not finding the edit post button),
    by unmount, I mean here unmounting via nautilus or the bottom left corner tray (it seems they do completely the same), not a CLI umount.
    You click there on the "remove savely" or something like that, but does it tell you that that action is finished? I mean normaly there is some graphical confirmation (IIRC a V check) that the unmount (and thus the cache emptying) is done.

    And btw, when it takes some minutes before the flashing stops, you have another means to check what the system thinks:
    Code:
    mount
    shows all that is mounted, see if it is still in the list.
    Henk van Velden

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post
    You click there on the "remove savely" or something like that, but does it tell you that that action is finished? I mean normaly there is some graphical confirmation (IIRC a V check) that the unmount (and thus the cache emptying) is done.
    On 12.1, I just tested: the behavior is not show anything if it is succesfull, and show prompt "Writing data..." with explanation if the cache is not written yet.
    But now on 12.2, I get nothing in either case. The icon disappeares, it is not listed in devices in the Nautilus left bar anymore, and it is not listed in the "mount" output as well.
    Now I get prompt just if trying unmount while the copy dialog is in progress, or any other program has an open handle on some file there.

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post
    And btw, when it takes some minutes before the flashing stops, you have another means to check what the system thinks:
    Code:
    mount
    shows all that is mounted, see if it is still in the list.
    No, It is not there after the unmount attempt.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    Could you compare mount options on 12.1 and 12.2, just to pick low hanging fruits? You could check both "mount" output and /proc/mounts, sometimes they are different.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    Hm, when it not mounted anymore, there should be no read/write activety (as long as no direct access to the device using the device files is done, but I think we can rule out that).

    Not being a Gnome user I only can follow the Gnome users here, assuming that it is a bug.
    Henk van Velden

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    On 2012-11-19 13:36, hcvv wrote:
    >
    > Hm, when it not mounted anymore, there should be no read/write activety
    > (as long as no direct access to the device using the device files is
    > done, but I think we can rule out that).


    It can be umounted lazy.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" (Minas Tirith))

  10. #10

    Default Re: Flash drive still being written after unmount (12.2, Gnome)

    On 11/19/2012 08:34 AM, Carlos E. R. pecked at the keyboard and wrote:
    > On 2012-11-19 13:36, hcvv wrote:
    >> Hm, when it not mounted anymore, there should be no read/write activety
    >> (as long as no direct access to the device using the device files is
    >> done, but I think we can rule out that).

    > It can be umounted lazy.
    >


    If you are not sure you can always use

    -----------------------

    sync
    -----------------------

    on a command line and wait the your prompt to return meaning all write
    requests are finished.

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