If you have been using Ubuntu for a while, you probably know that after 30 boots Ubuntu runs a check on the hard disk. This “Fsck” check slows down booting a lot. AutoFsck runs the check on shutdown instead, and asks you if it is a good time first. If the occasional slow boot is a problem for you, AutoFsck is perfect.
The disk check runs has always been fairly quick on my two desktops, so it does not bother me. But running the check on shutdown makes a lot more sense. Most of the time there is no hurry to shutdown a PC. However, when a user starts up a computer, they usually want to use it as soon as they can. The developer of AutoFsck thinks that it should be included in Ubuntu 7.10, which I think is a great idea.
It’s really quite simple, every time you shut down, AutoFsck finds information on your disks. Every linux partition has two important number associated with it, one is the number of times it has been mounted, the other is the number of times it is allowed to before being checked. AutoFsck looks at these, and if your drives are due for checking it asks if you want to check them. If you say yes, your drives are checked and your computer shuts down. If you say no, AutoFsck will ensure that the check will not run next time at boot. You will then be asked again the next time you shut down.