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Thread: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

  1. #1
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    ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    according to the system manager of my machine, one of my ext4 partitions (home folder) reads 7.6GB free but only 574MB available and the disks "fills" when the 574MB are used, and i'm really needing those 7G right now, so:

    why does this happen? are those 7G used in anything?
    any way to allow the system use that free space?
    Last edited by Megarock; January 4th, 2010 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    At a guess, I'd say those 7GB are reserved by the system.


    Try using sudo tune2fs in the terminal. I can't remember the exact command so look for it in the forum. Be certain you use it on the right partition or drive.


    Nice avatar. My best friend is a Maiden fan. It's SLAYER for me.

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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    ok, so read a bit on the net and found this:
    Code:
    tune2fs -m <percent of reserved blocks> <device>
    is it safe to reduce it to, say, 0% considering its the home folder? what is important to consider when setting the reserved blocks number?

    off-topic:
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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    Is it a home directory, or a home partition?

    5% of disk space on Ext filesystems is reserved for root user only, since the system needs some disk space to work correctly. Reserving this space makes sure that normal users can't accidentally fill the drive to the point where the system wouldn't be able to boot any more.

    You definitely want to keep this reserved space on your root partition, for any other partitions it's safe to set the limit to 0. If you have a very large root partition then something less than 5% would be enough (Gigabyte or two should be more than enough), but you really don't want to do that anyway since the performance of Ext filesystems starts to decrease rapidly when the drive gets too full. So you really wouldn't want to fill any Ext partition over 90% anyway, at least as long as you have any other options.

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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    is it safe to reduce it to, say, 0% considering its the home folder? what is important to consider when setting the reserved blocks number?

    Yes, assuming that the home folder is on a seperate partition. If it's not then using 0% will probably give you minor issues like cd burning may not work. I used 0% on my external and got back 40 something Gigs.
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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    yeah, the partition is only the home folder.

    thx for the replies

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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    how heavy is your lost and found, and have you emptied the trash?
    Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.

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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    Quote Originally Posted by doas777 View Post
    how heavy is your lost and found, and have you emptied the trash?
    yeah, checked that before trying this, both empty

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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    daos777 has an excellent point. Try searching the forums for that and other ways to clean up.


    yeah, the partition is only the home folder.

    Then, by all means, go with 0%.
    Last edited by warfacegod; January 4th, 2010 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Grammatical error
    God does not play dice with the universe - Albert Einstein
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  10. #10
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    Re: ext4- difference between 'free' and 'available' space

    the 5% reserved for root is ridiculously much these days..

    100MB would be more than enough for the purpose, so you can safely resuce it to 1% for root partition and 0% for home partition
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