I have a box running Ubuntu 11.10 with 512MB RAM and no swap. It has a 1TB USB HDD with ext3 filesystem attached. Sitting idle, it's only using about 60MB. When I run e2fsck, it runs out of memory, the OOM killer kicks in, and e2fsck dies.
Is there any trick to running e2fsck so that it uses less memory?
sudo e2fsck -n /dev/sdb1
[Please don't tell me to enable swap or add memory -- I can't enable swap, and adding memory is the obvious long-term fix. I'd like a way to run fsck now.]