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Old 06-20-2009, 03:48 PM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2007
Distribution: Fedora Core
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Fedoora 11 (f11): /var full after yum update attempt. Can't clean.

In the past few days, I've updated several computers at work from Fedora 10 to Fedora 11 (f11). After unsuccessfully trying "yum update -y" on one of the computers, its /var directory filled completely. I tried to run yum-complete-transaction to take care of the remaining 102 elements to be installed/updated, but it responded with error messages saying "No space left on device."

The "df" command shows that /var is full.
[root@my_machine ~]# df
Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3 5036316 347392 4433092 8% /
/dev/sda5 5036284 5036284 0 100% /var
/dev/sda7 15219840 226416 14220300 2% /home
/dev/sda1 2016016 43708 1869896 3% /boot
/dev/sda2 30233928 4097128 24600988 15% /usr
/dev/sdb1 59084932 15562428 40521164 28% /u/b
tmpfs 384532 564 383968 1% /dev/shm

Here is what I get when I enter "yum clean all".
Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/bin/yum", line 29, in <module>
yummain.user_main(sys.argv[1:], exit_code=True)
File "/usr/share/yum-cli/", line 309, in user_main
errcode = main(args)
File "/usr/share/yum-cli/", line 166, in main
File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/", line 1173, in doLock
while not self._lock(lockfile, mypid, 0644):
File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/", line 1229, in _lock
os.write(fd, contents)
OSError: [Errno 28] No space left on device
[End of output from "yum clean all"]

I'm a scientist and have limited experience as a sysadmin. This is my first post. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Old 06-20-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
harry edwards
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: Lincolnshire, UK
Distribution: CentOS, Fedora, and Suse
Posts: 365

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You can check what directory contains by running the following:

du -sa /var/*
You may be able to manually select files that can be removed to free up some space. Alternatively, you could move a directory onto another partition and create a link in the original /var partition. For example if you have a games directory and wished to move it you could:

mv /var/games /home/games
ln -s /home/games /var/games
Old 06-20-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2007
Distribution: Fedora Core
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Problem solved with /var being full

A coworker helped solve my problem in which my 5GB /var partition became completely full during an unsuccessful attempt at "yum update -y" in Fedora 11 (f11). He suggested that I enter:
cd /var
du -sh *
That showed that /var/log contained about 3.5GB. A little further checking revealed that two files were responsible for almost everything: /var/log/messages (2.3GB) and /var/log/gdm/:0.log.4 (1.2GB). I deleted those files and was able to run yum-complete-transaction -y

I'll have to keep an eye on the log files to determine why they grew so large in only a few days.
Old 06-22-2009, 08:15 PM   #4
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Distribution: Centos 6.9, Centos 7.3
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Maybe you're not running logrotate on those to keep them purged. For /var/log/messages that would be unusual, its the std install to do so. Maybe the system had issues (could be that update that did it...)
Old 07-16-2009, 03:58 AM   #5
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Registered: Jul 2009
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user login screen fails

Hi All,
I am working on Fedora core 11. Without my knowledge some of the files from /var and /etc got removed and i am not able to boot-up the machine.

1. I copied whole /var directory from fedora core 9 through single user mode
2. Now i am able to boot the system with the below steps
- Edit grub loader with "single" user mode login
- # init 4
- # startx
Then the system is directly going to desktop without asking any user name and password(user login screen fails to load)

I think somewhere i am missing some config files to overcome this problem. Please help me to solve this issue.

Thanks in advance,


clean, f11, fedora, full, var, yum

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