Ubuntu – What do I do when the root filesystem is full


My / folder is reading as full and I can't update software or do anything.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong here.

$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             5.7G  5.4G     0 100% /
udev                  1.9G  4.0K  1.9G   1% /dev
tmpfs                 770M  1.1M  769M   1% /run
none                  5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none                  1.9G  808K  1.9G   1% /run/shm
/dev/sda6             961M   18M  895M   2% /tmp
/dev/sda7             9.9G  2.9G  6.6G  31% /home
/dev/sda3             5.7G  140M  5.3G   3% /usr/local
/dev/sda4             2.9G  1.3G  1.4G  49% /var
/dev/sdb1              94G  1.3G   88G   2% /sites
/home/username/.Private  9.9G  2.9G  6.6G  31% /home/username
/dev/sdb5             282G   88G  180G  33% /mnt/multimedia

$ df -h /
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1       5.7G  5.4G     0 100% /

$ du /mnt /media
4   /mnt/multimedia
8   /mnt
4   /media

This is a new install of Ubuntu 12.04 and I'm not sure how/why the root system is so full.

Best Answer

Some likely measures for an overflowing root partition are (based on cases):

1. Core dumps filling up the disk.

Check with:

find / -xdev -name core -ls -o  -path "/lib*" -prune

2. Unnecessary packages filling up the space.

The following command will remove all automatically installed packages, which aren't required any more. (Because the dependency which force the installation in the past has been removed.)

apt-get autoremove --purge 

3. Outdated kernel packages

Check how many kernel packages are installed, and remove outdated kernel versions. You may investigate the current situation with:

dpkg -l "linux*{tools}*" |grep ^.i

Remove any kernel versions you doesn't need any more

4. Hidden storage

Other mounted partitions may hide used storage. To investigate this mount the root file system temporary on a second location:

mkdir /tmp/2ndRoot
mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/2ndRoot

Now look on every directory, that is normally hidden by another mount, e.g.:

  • tmp
  • home
  • run
  • var
  • usr/local

    and in your case also:

  • sites


Don`t forget to control at the end the consistency of your installation with:

apt-get install -f


Reserved storage

/dev/sda1       5.7G  5.4G     0 100% /

The output shows that you have still some space, but it seems to be reserved for root. The good point is that your system functionality is currently still be given.

But you should fix the problem soon.

Space consumption of ubuntu 12.04

To have only 5.7 Gb for an ubuntu installation seems to be a bit too little. You should remove some unessential software packages.

My current installations have 10-14 Gb for the root and binary (aka /usr) partitions.

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