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Old 12-04-2008, 10:25 AM
Bernard
 
Default strange system mail : what does this mean ?

Hi to everyone,

My system (Debian Sarge) was left running all night (usually I shut it
down). In the morning, I noticed that a system mail had come :


*************************************
From root@localhost.localdomain Thu Dec 04 06:25:57 2008
Return-path: <root@localhost.localdomain>
Envelope-to: root@localhost.localdomain
Delivery-date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 06:25:57 +0100
Received: from root by localhost.localdomain with local (Exim 4.50)
id 1L86io-0001bU-Hi
for root@localhost.localdomain; Thu, 04 Dec 2008 06:25:57 +0100
From: root@localhost.localdomain (Cron Daemon)
To: root@localhost.localdomain
Subject: Cron <root@debreil> test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || run-parts
--report /et

c/cron.daily
X-Cron-Env: <SHELL=/bin/sh>
X-Cron-Env:
<PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin>

X-Cron-Env: <HOME=/root>
X-Cron-Env: <LOGNAME=root>
Message-Id: <E1L86io-0001bU-Hi@localhost.localdomain>
Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 06:25:57 +0100
Status: RO

/etc/cron.daily/standard:
Files were found in lost+found directories. This is probably
the result of a crash or bad shutdown, or possibly of a disk
problem. These files may contain important information. You
should examine them, and move them out of lost+found or delete
them if they are not important.

The following files were found:


/boot/lost+found:
#171379

************************

There is no possibility that my system may have shutdown : it wouldn't
have restarted on its own. Besides, I have an APC system that is
supposed to manage power failures, and, it this system had recorded any
problem such as temporary power failure or voltage variation, it would
have generated a special system mail. So, I wonder what the reason of
the above system mail is. I tried to check what was that "#171379" file
or whatever, in the /boot/lost+found directory. It appears to be a
directory. Any direct trial to get into that directory fails :


/boot/lost+found#cd #171379
/#

So, I had to use the Midnight Commander, and I could see that the
directory '#171379' contained 10 files as follows :


device.map 30 19 aug 2007
e2fs_stage1_5 7776 19 aug 2007
fat_stage1_5 7504 19 aug 2007
jfs_stage1_5
menu.lst
menu.lst~
minix_stage1_5
reiserfs~tage1_5
stage1
xfs_stage1_5


Could anyone tell me why have such files ended up in this
/boot/lost+found directory ? Could this be the side result of a virus
or other unfriendly attempt ?


Does this kind of warning call for any relevant test ?

Thanks in advance for any advice

Bernard


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Old 12-04-2008, 11:21 AM
Sven Joachim
 
Default strange system mail : what does this mean ?

On 2008-12-04 12:25 +0100, Bernard wrote:

> My system (Debian Sarge)

Did you ever consider upgrading to Etch?

> was left running all night (usually I shut it down).

Under these circumstances installing anacron is strongly recommended.
It is very possible that your system's cron jobs had never been run,
because it was always off in the early morning hours. Or do you get up
early and turn it on before 6:25 a.m. ?

> In the morning, I noticed that a system mail had come :
>
> *************************************
> From root@localhost.localdomain Thu Dec 04 06:25:57 2008
> Return-path: <root@localhost.localdomain>
> Envelope-to: root@localhost.localdomain
> Delivery-date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 06:25:57 +0100
> Received: from root by localhost.localdomain with local (Exim 4.50)
> id 1L86io-0001bU-Hi
> for root@localhost.localdomain; Thu, 04 Dec 2008 06:25:57 +0100
> From: root@localhost.localdomain (Cron Daemon)
> To: root@localhost.localdomain
> Subject: Cron <root@debreil> test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || run-parts
> --report /et
> c/cron.daily
> X-Cron-Env: <SHELL=/bin/sh>
> X-Cron-Env:
> <PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin>
> X-Cron-Env: <HOME=/root>
> X-Cron-Env: <LOGNAME=root>
> Message-Id: <E1L86io-0001bU-Hi@localhost.localdomain>
> Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 06:25:57 +0100
> Status: RO
>
> /etc/cron.daily/standard:
> Files were found in lost+found directories. This is probably
> the result of a crash or bad shutdown, or possibly of a disk
> problem. These files may contain important information. You
> should examine them, and move them out of lost+found or delete
> them if they are not important.
>
> The following files were found:
>
>
> /boot/lost+found:
> #171379
>
> ************************
>
> There is no possibility that my system may have shutdown : it wouldn't
> have restarted on its own. Besides, I have an APC system that is
> supposed to manage power failures, and, it this system had recorded
> any problem such as temporary power failure or voltage variation, it
> would have generated a special system mail. So, I wonder what the
> reason of the above system mail is. I tried to check what was that
> "#171379" file or whatever, in the /boot/lost+found directory. It
> appears to be a directory. Any direct trial to get into that directory
> fails :
>
> /boot/lost+found#cd #171379
> /#

Note that the # character is a special sign for bash -- it tells it to
treat the rest of the line as a comment, i.e. ignore it. You have to
escape the #, e.g. use "cd #171379".

> So, I had to use the Midnight Commander, and I could see that the
> directory '#171379' contained 10 files as follows :
>
> device.map 30 19 aug 2007
> e2fs_stage1_5 7776 19 aug 2007
> fat_stage1_5 7504 19 aug 2007
> jfs_stage1_5
> menu.lst
> menu.lst~
> minix_stage1_5
> reiserfs~tage1_5
> stage1
> xfs_stage1_5

These files are usually found in /boot/grub.

> Could anyone tell me why have such files ended up in this
> /boot/lost+found directory ? Could this be the side result of a virus
> or other unfriendly attempt ?

Unlikely. The files might have been there for years and just never
reported to you, because the cron.daily scripts were never run. Just
look at the timestamps...

> Does this kind of warning call for any relevant test ?

Maybe you can find something interesting in /var/log, although that is
not too likely. The cron jobs that were just run should have cleaned up
lots of old cruft already.

> Thanks in advance for any advice

Two of them: install anacron ASAP and upgrade to Etch.

Sven


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