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Thread: root partition keeps filling up?

  1. #1
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    root partition keeps filling up?

    Since migrating to 12.04 (though I'm not sure this was the cause), I've been having repeated instances of my computer reporting that my root partition is full. (20 GB, separate from /home and /boot) Reports first when under a gigabyte, then if left will eventually completely fill.

    I can't find any specific set of actions that would cause this--it often seems to happen first thing in the morning, after the computer has sat for a while, though not exclusively so. When full, functionality is reduced (some things won't load), though stability remains.

    Rebooting the computer seems to clear out whatever it is, and resets to normal, where / isn't even close to full.

    I've dug around with an elevated nautilus window and the disk analyzer, thinking this might be some error logging problem, but I can't find anything, despite several searches. Can someone give me some direction on this? I'm at a loss.

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    If the situation gets back to normal after a reboot, I would suspect that there is stuff stored in either /tmp or /var. Both folders are for temporary files and should be emptied on a reboot.

  3. #3
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    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    That's what I figured, though I couldn't find anything there. It's possible I just missed it, but if there were 20 GB of stuff there, why wouldn't a size search find it?

    Maybe I'll try something--is there any way to save a record of the contents of a drive at a particular moment (i.e., now, not long after a reboot), and compare it against a later point in time? That would give me some way to compare and maybe locate this thing.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmob View Post
    Since migrating to 12.04 (though I'm not sure this was the cause), I've been having repeated instances of my computer reporting that my root partition is full. (20 GB, separate from /home and /boot) Reports first when under a gigabyte, then if left will eventually completely fill.

    .
    I had this, it was caused by tracker indexing files when the machine was not being used. It was a hidden file in root.
    There is always a way, but it might not be the best way, or your way!

  5. #5
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    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    Thanks, trad, I'll look for that too. Were the hidden files stored in the root folder proper, or somewhere else on the root partition?

    What is tracker, though (or "tracker indexing", not sure which)?

  6. #6
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    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmob View Post
    Thanks, trad, I'll look for that too. Were the hidden files stored in the root folder proper, or somewhere else on the root partition?

    What is tracker, though (or "tracker indexing", not sure which)?
    I had to go looking for it, it was quite well hidden, Found it by using the disk usage analyser as root.

    This is "tracker";



    but there are a couple of other things which are similar. The major problem with it is that there is apparently no way to specify where it places the index. It goes to root by default and I found no way to change it.
    There is always a way, but it might not be the best way, or your way!

  7. #7
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    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    It could be duplicity/deja-dup trying to make backups of your system. You can look for large files with this command:
    Code:
    sudo find / -name '*' -size +500M
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  8. #8
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    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    Trad, I don't have tracker installed, but I wondered if it might be Deja/Duplicity instead, and was writing something up to that effect when drs305 posted.

    I'll definitely use that command come next time (and learn more of its use for the future). This is how I become competent (well, in a few decades, anyway, at this rate).

    Thanks to you both.


    Just covering the bases: how likely is it that this is something generating tons of small files instead of a large one, say in a single folder somewhere on / ? If that is a possibility, can I use a similar strategy to search for a folder of size, as opposed to individual contents?

  9. #9
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    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmob View Post
    Trad, I don't have tracker installed, but I wondered if it might be Deja/Duplicity instead, and was writing something up to that effect when drs305 posted.

    I'll definitely use that command come next time (and learn more of its use for the future). This is how I become competent (well, in a few decades, anyway, at this rate).

    Thanks to you both.


    Just covering the bases: how likely is it that this is something generating tons of small files instead of a large one, say in a single folder somewhere on / ? If that is a possibility, can I use a similar strategy to search for a folder of size, as opposed to individual contents?
    Your log files could take up a large amount of space if there are enough of them.

    For troubleshooting the issue, this thread I created long ago may help:
    HOWTO: Recover Lost Disk Space
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  10. #10
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    Re: root partition keeps filling up?

    Thanks a lot.

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