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Old 06-19-2014, 09:13 AM   #1
Gustavo AzDbn
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root filesystem full - what to do?


Hello Linux/Debian Community,

UPDATED WITH SOLUTION AT BOTTOM OF THIS MESSAGE:

(An almost identical post appears in Debian.net but so far received limited feedback. I am reaching out to the larger community.)

I encountered a message saying I do not having sufficient space in my root filesystem after updating Debian the day before yesterday.

Some excerpts from the text in Synaptic Package Manager:

...cannot copy extracted data for './lib/modules/3.2.0-4-amd64/kernel/net/wireless/cfg80211.ko' to '/lib/modules/3.2.0-4-amd64/kernel/net/wireless/cfg80211.ko.dpkg-new': failed to write (No space left on device)

...Errors were encountered while processing:
/var/cache/apt/archives/linux-image-3.2.0-4-amd64_3.2.57-3+deb7u2_amd64.deb

I had Debian for 4-6 weeks now and am in the early stages of the learning. My main goal is to allow for this update to happen, especially because it may improve my wireless connectivity. It needs fixing preferably fast.

My constraints are time and ignorance. I prefer few steps over many in any solution, and GUI over CLI, so that I can continue my learning in a different order than that dictated just by problem-fixing.

The output of df -h:

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs 324M 241M 67M 79% /
udev 10M 0 10M 0% /dev
tmpfs 581M 720K 580M 1% /run
/dev/disk/by-uuid/[edited] 324M 241M 67M 79% /
tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
tmpfs 3.5G 448K 3.5G 1% /run/shm
/dev/sda11 87G 396M 82G 1% /home
/dev/sda10 369M 11M 340M 3% /tmp
/dev/sda7 8.3G 3.3G 4.7G 41% /usr
/dev/sda8 2.8G 663M 2.0G 25% /var

Note /dev/sda11 has plenty of space (87G). In all, I allocated around 100GB to Debian, so space is not an issue at this point.

Questions/items. If you can answer the ones you may know the answer for. It can be any of them.

- So the core of the issue is that rootfs needs more space?

- I also tried apt-get clean, but to no avail. It didn't give any output, which I assume it's not necessarily a bad thing, correct?

I propose these paths:

a) Clean out rootfs. However, this would require more familiarity with the files in there, which I don't have the time right now to develop. Also, remember it's a relatively fresh install, so anything in there tends to be minimally added and close to the original installation, I suppose.

b) Enlarge rootfs. I would welcome this if it's easy to do, but I am not clear on how to (neither easily nor hard). I see two choices under this path:

- If I use gparted, I don't know if it can be done while still having rootfs mounted on / (which I suppose happens when Debian is running). If I need to try something fancier, like running gparted from a CD, I prefer to look for an easier solution. If I can simply use gparted without much work, then I would perhaps do it.

- I also think that the Debian .iso CD can be used for resizing partitions, but am not sure how. Can I simply run the CD from the boot menu, and proceed as if I am installing Debian, so I can get to the screen of partitions, and then resize rootfs? After that, I would simply abort the installation. Is this sensible?

In all of this, I also have the concern: should I be worried about content adjacent to rootfs, or is that sorted out when resizing rootfs? I can offer more information on that score, but rootfs seems to reside in /dev/sda6, in between the partition for Grub2 and /usr. In /dev/sda11 or -12 I have a partition with almost 80GB available in ext4 format. So perhaps this can be made available for sda6.

I appreciate the community's help, and will not forget it, if I can help it. Please answer any of these content that you feel knowledgeable about, even if it's not all the questions. I am also posting elsewhere on touchpad settings issues, and loading Win8 on Grub. Please let me know if these sound like things with which you are familiar. Thanks.

Gustavo

THE SOLUTION XXXX:

A) The surgical solution: run Gparted live, which you can get from here:

http://gparted.org/livecd.php

And shift space among partitions. Watch out for system or boot partitions, which are dangerous to touch.

Interested users should refer to this how-to also:

http://gparted.org/display-doc.php?n...een-partitions

The advantages are time and convenience. You can queue the unsizing and sizing of more than one partition at once. For my 2-3 GB shift, the move took minutes. I still recommend backing up before doing it, but the second part of backing up is not necessary since successful resizing does not compromise data.

B) The atomic solution: reinstall after backing up. However, it requires going through backing up and the resetting of your system afterwards. This solution reminds me of Windows specialists whose solution to many problems is simply to wipe the slate clean. However, if you need to move many different partitions, it should be considered as a more elegant solution and may be faster.

Thanks to those who actually engaged my questions.

If you are a newbie, remember to do three things: 1) Ask; 2) Consider; 3) Decide. Some posters think themselves the high-priests of Debian. If they answer your questions with bitterness instead of well-culled knowledge, go on about your search. Debian/GNU-Linux is about freedom, which also involves freedom of inquiry.

Last edited by Gustavo AzDbn; 06-23-2014 at 08:41 AM.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 09:19 AM   #2
szboardstretcher
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Your rootfs / mount should have been made far bigger than 325 Mb. That means that all of these directories and contents are in that little tiny amount of space:

/bin
/etc
/lib
/lib64
/media
/mnt
/opt
/root
/sbin

So essentially,. you are running out of space. You need to extend that root file system to a more comfortable number. The lowest I would go on a small vanilla system would be 25G. That is just an opinion though.

It doesn't look like you have used LVM so resizing the partition will take a while. It will not be fun, and it might fail.

Best bet, back up any settings, the history, and your files, and re-install with your new found knowledge of / space requirements.

Last edited by szboardstretcher; 06-19-2014 at 09:21 AM.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 09:25 AM   #3
pan64
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rootfs can only be resized if offline. it means you need to boot another os (live cd). looks like 324 M is not enough. You may try to shrink /home and create an additional partition for /lib, but it is quite unusual. Also you can try LVM but that will not be an "easier" solution.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 06:34 PM   #4
Gustavo AzDbn
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Registered: Jun 2014
Posts: 11

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Thanks for the information.

I lean towards a re-install later on, with a simpler selection of partitions. Should I just let Debian's graphic installer to make the partition choices automatically, or intervene to set them up as you said?

Also, what is the issue with the following approach?

"- I also think that the Debian .iso CD can be used for resizing partitions, but am not sure how. Can I simply run the CD from the boot menu, and proceed as if I am installing Debian, so I can get to the screen of partitions, and then resize rootfs? After that, I would simply abort the installation. Is this sensible?

In all of this, I also have the concern: should I be worried about content adjacent to rootfs, or is that sorted out when resizing rootfs? I can offer more information on that score, but rootfs seems to reside in /dev/sda6, in between the partition for Grub2 and /usr. In /dev/sda11 or -12 I have a partition with almost 80GB available in ext4 format. So perhaps this can be made available for sda6."
 
Old 06-19-2014, 09:25 PM   #5
jefro
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I agree with the above but might point out that during updates, the process could consume a lot of space if you selected a number of updates. On flash drives, I've sometimes had to select maybe 20 or so at a time in order to get the room to finish.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 10:40 PM   #6
Randicus Draco Albus
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Since you are in the early learning stage, I suggest using a simple partitioning scheme: / (root), /home/ swap. You can let the ncurses installer (which is superior to the graphical) automatically partition the drive or you can choose to manually create partitions. A single root partition of 20G should be more than sufficient for years of use.
 
  


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