Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 03-18-2009, 07:28 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 12

Rep: Reputation: 0
/ disk full

Hi there,

when I tried to restart my linux box just now I got a disk full message. A 'df' revealed that / was 100% full, but also showed that /home is only 80% full. I deleted files in /tmp, which didn't seem to help, but then when I deleted some file in my home directory, located in /home/guser, some space started freeing up in /.

Could someone please explain to me what is going on here? Since there is free space in /home why does / show 100% full in 'df' output? And why does deleting files in /home then free up space in /?

I'm sure I'm just missing something basic here. My understanding is that / represents the entire physical disk, of which /home is a partition. Is this correct?


Old 03-18-2009, 07:33 AM   #2
LQ 5k Club
Registered: May 2001
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 8,528

Rep: Reputation: 899Reputation: 899Reputation: 899Reputation: 899Reputation: 899Reputation: 899Reputation: 899
Depends how the disk is partitioned
what is the output from
fdisk -l
Old 03-18-2009, 07:35 AM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: May 2005
Location: Atlanta Georgia USA
Distribution: Redhat (RHEL), CentOS, Fedora, CoreOS, Debian, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Solaris, SCO
Posts: 6,945
Blog Entries: 14

Rep: Reputation: 1163Reputation: 1163Reputation: 1163Reputation: 1163Reputation: 1163Reputation: 1163Reputation: 1163Reputation: 1163Reputation: 1163
/home is a directory used as a mount point.

It is possible to put files in /home BEFORE the filesystem is actually mounted on the directory. Such files would be part of the root filesystem rather than the /home filesystem.

In single user scenario (which sometimes occurs when you can't boot normally) other filesystems have to be mounted manually. It may be you were deleting files from /home directory rather than /home filesystem.

Once you've mounted /home filesystem it would mask the files in the underlying directory.

Since you did a df and saw /home mounted as filesystem it shouldn't have been possible to have deleted files from the underlying directory. (There are ways to access the underling the directory even if /home is mounted but they're a bit involved and not likely something that happened by accident.)
Old 03-18-2009, 07:38 AM   #4
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Distribution: Xubuntu, Ubuntu
Posts: 416
Blog Entries: 14

Rep: Reputation: 35
Depends on how you set up your system. If you haven't put /home in a separate partition, then deleting something there will free space on /, as it is just a subdirectory. But if df tells you something about /home as separate from /, then it is in its own partition. Then deleting something on /home should not free space on /.

In any case there isn't enough space for / on your system. What partitions do you have?

I just reread your question: / does not represent the physical disk but the root partition. It could reside in one partition on the HD, and /home could be in another.

Post the full output of df so we can see what's wrong.

Old 03-18-2009, 07:38 AM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: Eelam
Distribution: Redhat, Solaris, Suse
Posts: 1,274

Rep: Reputation: 148Reputation: 148
[root@ramanan log]# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hdb1 2.0G 1.1G 852M 56% /
/dev/hda1 190M 11M 170M 7% /boot
none 252M 0 252M 0% /dev/shm
/dev/hda6 587M 18M 540M 4% /home
/dev/hda2 3.9G 2.9G 838M 78% /usr
/dev/hda8 5.3G 4.8G 284M 95% /usr2
/dev/hda5 788M 200M 548M 27% /var

here you can see / is mounted on hdb1, home is mounted on hda6 it means both are in different partations, likewise check your system whether / and home were mounted on different partations.(actually in here / is physically different harddisk)
Old 03-18-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 217

Rep: Reputation: 46
In addition to the good answers regarding a possible separate /home partition that isn't mounted when you actually delete files on the mountpoint, I'd like to know if you have a Debian/Ubuntu type install. If so, look at /var/cache/apt/archives and 'rm *.deb' to get rid of the stored files there.

I'm very curious to see the answer to this if you do not in fact have a separate /home partition.
Old 03-18-2009, 10:52 AM   #7
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Southeast, U.S.A.
Distribution: Fedora (Desktop), CentOS (Server), Knoppix (Diags)
Posts: 934

Rep: Reputation: 38
... and on top of all THAT ...

Check to be sure your logs (/ver/log) are being rotated out. If not, they could be a culprit.
Old 03-19-2009, 09:05 AM   #8
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 12

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Hi guys,

thanks for all the replies. As it turned out, a program I've been running was logging to /pro which was why there was no space left on /. I created a symbolic link from /pro to /data/pro so now it's saving the logs where there is plenty of space. Well caught SlowCoder!

here is the output of df -h:

[66]GPSuser@GPSMet[/home/GPSuser]: df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda6 20G 6.6G 13G 36% /
udev 2.0G 128K 2.0G 1% /dev
/dev/sda7 561G 477G 56G 90% /home
/dev/sda2 108G 13G 95G 12% /windows/C
/dev/sdb1 294G 232G 47G 84% /data
/dev/sdc1 1.4T 419G 979G 30% /media/ed1

My set up is that I have two internal disks (sda and sdb) and an external (sdc) drive. As far as I can tell from this, the first internal disk has 4 partitions: /, /home, /windows and /dev. So I'm still confused as to why deleting files from /home affects the space available in /.

BTW, it's an OpenSUSE installation, not Debian/Ubuntu.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Disk full - what do I do now? rwhitworth SUSE / openSUSE 8 10-21-2007 01:19 AM
Disk full... cactusface Linux - Newbie 5 08-02-2007 03:48 PM
disk full when it isn't pete-wilko Linux - Newbie 14 06-17-2006 10:36 AM
disk stats not updating after deletion of file.. disk full joecool118 Linux - General 2 04-10-2006 12:23 PM
df shows disk almost full, can't see why mhath Linux - General 6 12-14-2005 08:55 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:59 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration