root partition full

Marius Gedminas marius at
Tue Dec 20 22:28:43 UTC 2011

On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 04:16:06PM -0600, CJ Tres wrote:
> On 12/20/2011 02:09 PM, Colin Law wrote:
> >On 20 December 2011 17:32, CJ Tres<ctres at>  wrote:
> >>I've followed the guide at
> >>
> >>Unmounting all but system partitions,
> >>I've run apt-get-clean and -autoclean along with --autoremove, emptied trash
> >>in root and home and after I removed old kernels and headers I've reduced /
> >>by 4%.
> >>There are no large or numerous log files, although I did delete the oldest
> >>ones in each group.
> >>
> >>I did install doodle yesterday, which created a 20G directory in /var/lib.
> >>As an experiment I moved that folder to another hd but the size of / wasn't
> >>reduced, it's still 96% full! - 28G total 26G used 1.1G available. When I
> >>tried to put it back there wasn't enough room.
> >>Remaining directories are at or<  1%.
> >>
> >>Analyzing the file system with disk usage analyzer (gksudo boabab) still
> >>reports root as 100% full (after doing the above steps) and the size as
> >>13.5G, home as 62.3% full - 8.4G, /usr as 27.5% at 3.7G and /var - 4,5% -
> >>617.1 MB.
> >>
> >>  df -Th | sort says:
> >>/dev/sda1     ext3     28G   26G  1.1G  96% /
> >>/dev/sda7     ext4     51G   13G   36G  27% /home
> >>Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
> >>none      devtmpfs    4.0G  704K  4.0G   1% /dev
> >>none         tmpfs    4.0G     0  4.0G   0% /var/lock
> >>none         tmpfs    4.0G  432K  4.0G   1% /var/run
> >>none         tmpfs    4.0G  788K  4.0G   1% /dev/shm
> >>
> >>Is there something else I'm missing that I may be able to do to get the
> >>percentage down or is my / partition just too small?
> >
> >Looking again at those they do not make sense.  df is showing / as 28G
> >but you say baobab shows it as 13.5G.  Are you sure you are reading
> >the baobab display correctly?  If you hover over the icons one will
> >say Scan Filesystem.  Click that and it will scan the whole lot (go
> >and have a cup of coffee) and show you where the space is used.
> >
> >Colin
> I believe that's what I did.
> Here's a screenshot.

Did you run baobab as root (with gksudo)?  Perhaps it skipped some
inaccessible directories in, say, /var, and thus couldn't count their
sizes properly?

I'm not a fan of baobab.  I like du:

  sudo du -xhs /

does this print a number close to those 26G that df claims?

If not, most likely there are deleted files kept open that occupy space.
Check with

  sudo lsof / | grep '(deleted)'

Worst case, there's some filesystem corruption that makes the free block
count disagree with the real amount.  But I think that's unlikely.
(Running fsck would fix that; you can't run fsck on mounted filesystems;
you can't unmount /, so touch /forcefsck to force a full filesystem
check on next boot, then reboot.  If you think unnoticed fs corruption
might be the case.  Which is unlikely.)

Marius Gedminas
Any time somebody tells you that you shouldn't do something because it's
"unprofessional," you know that they've run out of real arguments.
		-- Joel Spolski
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