/var got really big

John Hubbard ender8282 at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 16 22:28:02 UTC 2008

> John Hubbard wrote:
>> I have a 1 day old install of ubuntu 8.04 server.  My /var directory is 
>> pretty big.  It seems that most of it is a collection of about 900MB of 
>> .debs in /var/cache/apt/archives.  (I installed kde, gnome and xfce 
>> desktops) I usually won't worry too much but I installed /var on a 
>> separate 3GB partition and if it keeps growing it will run out of 
>> space.  My laptop's /var is only 90MB which is what led me to think 3GB 
>> would be plenty of space.  Do the files in the apt archive ever get 
>> cleaned out?  Is it safe to delete them?
> Others have suggested you clean the apt cache. Since you have more than
> one machine, I'd suggest you do the opposite. Install and configure
> apt-cacher on your server and import the packages that are in
> /var/cache/apt/archives into your apt-cacher cache, which could be
> wherever you want it to be, though the default is in
> /var/cache/apt-cacher. Your laptop would then download from your local
> apt-cacher cache rather than have to download the same packages as your
> server from the Internet. It saves on bandwidth and makes the update
> process faster. If a package exists in the cache, it will be used. If
> not, it will be fetched from an on-line repository.
How well would that work if my other machines are different operating 
systems?  My laptop is still running gutsy because I had problems with 
hardy.  It is a 32 bit machine.  I am thinking about trying Intrepid on 
it since (I think) my broadcom wireless adapter is now supported without 
the need for ndiswrapper.  One of my other machines is a mythbuntu 
machine (still in progress) that will run Intrepid but the 64 bit version.
> By the way, the problem you're having, that of running out of space on
> /var, illustrates why using LVM (Logical Volume Manager) is a good idea.
> LVM makes shrinking or expanding filesystems much easier. If your /var
> and say, /home, are on logical volumes, assuming you have room to spare
> on /home, you could shrink /home and expand /var, if you needed to. You
> still have plenty of free space on /var so you don't have to worry for
> now. If they're not on logical volumes, it's a bit more work but it's
> still possible. I suppose you could even symlink /var/cache/apt to a
> directory on another filesystem that has free space.
I know that it is possible to use raid and LVM together but it also 
sounded really complicated.  Maybe it would have been easier in the long 
run though.  The machine is still young enough that it might make sense 
to reinstall again.  Maybe I should just ask for more advice before 


To be or not to be, that is the question
                2b || !2b
(0b10)*(0b1100010) || !(0b10)*(0b1100010)
        0b11000100 || !0b11000100
        0b11000100 || 0b00111011
        255, that is the answer.

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