Thank God for backups!

Daniel Carrera daniel.carrera at
Sun Apr 23 22:18:56 UTC 2006

Tab Gilbert wrote:
>>Just delete the contents of /var/backup
>  /var/backup/
>  /var/backups/
> There are two "backup" folders

But only /var/backup matters here. The other occupies very little disk 
space and it is not responsible for the problems you listed. You said 
that the problem was that you made a backup of / with the Simple Backup 
program. This program puts the backups in /var/backup so that's where 
you should look to remove the offending backup.

> the  /var/backup/ is locked, has lock icon on it, even under knoppix
> the  /var/backups/ can be deleted without a problem

Open a terminal and type this:

du -sh /var/backup*

You'll see the sizes of /var/backup and /var/backups. I suspect that 
/var/backups will only be a few megabytes and that /var/backup/ will be 
very large with several gigabytes.

You can delete the contents with:

sudo rm -rf /var/backup/*

This operation is safe. It'll just delete the backups.

> I followed the instructions I found on reading and writing to a disk
> using knoppix but I can not figure out how to "unlock" the
> /var/backup/.

Only root can delete the contents of /var/backup/ that's why you need 
the 'sudo' line. I don't think you need Knoppix for this, and I'd prefer 
to give instructions without Knoppix because I don't know exactly how 
Knoppix will work.

My suggestion:

1. Boot your Ubuntu system. Yes, I know that the GUI won't work.
2. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1. This gives you a text terminal.
3. Login with your usual name and password.
4. Type: sudo rm -rf /var/backup/*
5. Reboot (e.g. press Ctrl+Alt+Delete).

Your computer should be functional then.

    /\/_/   A life? Sounds great!
    \/_/    Do you know where I could download one?

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