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I notice when Linux boots in maintenance mode the filesystem is read-only.

Is there a way to change this, perhaps remounting as writable?

An example of this being a problem is that I was unable to open vi because there were too many session files....

Not to mention it would be nice to actually fix problems....

What are you meant to be able to do if you can't make any changes to the filesystem? What kind of maintenance can be expected?

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Primarily because when a system starts in "maintenance" mode, the system's disks may be corrupted, so trying to edit files may damage the filesystem further if fsck is not used to try to recover from any filesystem corruption first. – mctylr May 4 '10 at 14:47
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If the correct root filesystem is already mounted, but just as read-only you can remount it read-write with

mount -o remount,rw /

It probably is mounted read-only so one can investigate the state of the filesystem when it was last mounted. Having it read-write could lead to daemons cleaning up their log or state files, or you inadvertently doing some damage to the state.

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