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Old 11-24-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
hobomystical
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unable to boot into gui because memory is too full


hello everyone,

all of my memory is full and because of that i am unable to boot ubuntu 11.10 into the gui. i have found ways of deleting files through the terminal so that i can free up some space but so far what i have deleted hasn't been enough. i have 3 questions:

1) is it possible to actually get around this and boot up in the gui without deleting any more files?

2) which files do i delete? i know this question is a bit more... difficult to answer since you don't know what's on my computer. however, i can tell you that i have no video files (i always save them to a hard disk) and i have no music files (i always save them to a hard disk, too). before i unwittingly turned off the computer, i scanned my computer and it turns out that the majority of the memory is being used up in the log folder. but how do i know which logs to delete (provided that i can get access to deleting them)? i am under the impression that all of the updates that i have recently done (especially in upgrading to 11.10) is what caused my memory to eventually max out.

if this has already been answered somewhere on this forum, please direct me to that thread and i will read it.

thank you so much for your help! i don't have much on my computer that i'm worried about losing, so i could easily just reinstall ubuntu. however, doing this helps me to learn my system better - and i want to rescue my bookmarks from my chromium before reinstalling everything.

cheers!
brad
 
Old 11-24-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
snowpine
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Welcome to the forums Brad!

Please tell us your hardware specs (CPU, RAM, hard drive capacity, video card, etc) as well as the exact error messages Ubuntu is giving you. Can you boot to a Linux command line (where you can enter your username and password)? If so, can you log in, type the command 'startx' (without the quotes) and tell us the error messages?

I think you are a little confused the difference between RAM (random access memory) and hard drive storage space. If you don't have enough RAM to run Ubuntu (1gb is the recommended minimum) then deleting files from your hard drive won't help, because they are two different resources.

Apologies if I have misunderstood your post.

ps If you have not already done so, now is a great opportunity to back up your documents/files. The easiest way to do so is to boot an Ubuntu Live CD or USB and copy your documents to an external hard drive.

Last edited by snowpine; 11-24-2011 at 06:48 PM.
 
Old 11-24-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
jschiwal
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Are you unable to boot, or unable to log into the desktop?
If you can operate in the terminal, it sounds like the latter. And I have had the same thing happen myself because the /home filesystem was full.

Look at the output of the "df -h" command to indicate which filesystems are full. Use the "du -s" command to find out how much space is used up in directories.

Here is a partial list on my system:
Code:
/dev/sda6             29G   12G   16G  43% /
/dev/sdb1            190M   39M  142M  22% /boot
/dev/sda7             74G   70G  3.0G  96% /home
Looks like I could do some cleaning of files in my $HOME directory.
You can check how directories are taking up with the "du -sh" command.

Deleting cache and temporary files in your $HOME directory might enable you to log into Gnome. You can delete cache files without causing harm to your system.
Code:
du -sh ~/.thumbnails/ ~/.cache/
40M     /home/jschiwal/.thumbnails/
1.3G    /home/jschiwal/.cache/
The contents of these two directories can be deleted without harming your system.

I once had the ~/.xsession-errors file grow to over 1 GB due to a bug. It is a log file and can be deleted. It will be recreated.

If you are low on space in the root directory (/), look for old logs in /var/log/. These are the files which end with .gz or .bz2. Look for the messages-* and warnings-* files.
Another place you can delete files in in /tmp. Suppose you rebooted today. Any temporary files two days or older can be deleted.
Code:
sudo find /tmp/ -ctime +2 -delete
After deleting unneeded files, look at moving large files such as videos, or music files to an external drive or back them up. Maybe you can log in to the desktop first making it easier.

Last edited by jschiwal; 11-24-2011 at 07:28 PM.
 
Old 11-24-2011, 07:33 PM   #4
chrism01
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Above advice is good. For a longer term soln, read up on logrotate http://linux.die.net/man/8/logrotate which should automagically handle this for you
 
Old 11-24-2011, 10:11 PM   #5
hobomystical
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@snowpine: i know the difference, though the wording of my post might make it seem otherwise. what i meant to say is that i don't have enough storage space. also, i have already made backups of the important stuff i need - in fact, i rarely save the important stuff on my actual computer just in case something like this happens where i can no longer easily access it. thanks for the reply and suggestions!

@jschiwal (and chrism01): i am unable to log into the desktop. previously, when i started my computer it would boot then go into the desktop; now, i just get some script and it ends up with terminal access instead of the desktop. so i can type and i can use commands and i have already deleted some things this way. it sounds like your solution is exactly what i need. i don't have time now to work on it, but i'll do it later today and let you all know how things turn out.

this is rather exciting!
 
Old 11-24-2011, 10:17 PM   #6
snowpine
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Sorry I misunderstood the question. I think jschiwal has some good advice.
 
Old 11-25-2011, 01:12 AM   #7
hobomystical
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no problem, snowpine! you tried to help and i appreciate that.

maybe you, or others, could answer another question in the meantime.

i can access the desktop login through the live cd, but i can't delete files in the directories. (i can see and access the files in my home directory which is the directory that has files that are eating up all the storage space.) how can i make it so that i can delete files through the live cd access? it's much easier and faster than going through the command terminal. to be clear, i can only access the desktop when i use the live cd and initiate the trial version. otherwise, my regular desktop is not available to me because i don't have any more storage space for the gui to run.

i'm at work now and won't be able to deal with my laptop directly until later today, but i'm still looking for information during my free periods.
 
Old 11-25-2011, 02:18 AM   #8
EDDY1
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This was posted by jschiwal, can you post the output? You can run the command from terminal.
Quote:
Look at the output of the "df -h" command to indicate which filesystems are full. Use the "du -s" command to find out how much space is used up in directories.

Last edited by EDDY1; 11-25-2011 at 02:20 AM.
 
Old 11-25-2011, 03:23 AM   #9
fingers99
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Try -- as root -- apt-get purge
 
Old 11-25-2011, 04:54 PM   #10
hobomystical
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Thumbs up

hi again!

the problem is solved! thank you everyone!

i was able to access the desktop through the live cd, and from there i was able to find the large files, mostly they were log files and backups that i no longer needed. i then went to the terminal and deleted one of the backups that was 20GB using the rm command. that allowed me to log in to the desktop and finish the rest of the work from there.

thank you again, everyone. i learned a lot!
 
  


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