View Full Version : [ubuntu] 9.04 shows wrong free space

July 7th, 2009, 11:21 AM

I've just completed a dual boot re-install where as I have Ubuntu on a 40GB drive and XP on a 20GB drive. Originally, they were the other way around.
When I look at Ubuntu, I see the file system takes 11.7GB, but any folder I click on shows 5.5GB free space. What happened to my other 22GB? I don't have many other apps installed. Also when I go on XP and look at the Ubuntu 40GB drive through Partition Magic, it shows about 29GB free which with the file system, roughly adds up to the 40GB. Which is correct? Is this a bug? Both are NTFS, is that an issue? Please help...


July 7th, 2009, 01:49 PM
Are you saying that both harddrives are NTFS? In other words, you installed Ubuntu on a ntfs filesystem!

Post the outputs of these commands from a terminal.

Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal

sudo fdisk -l
cat /etc/fstab
df -h

July 7th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Firstly thanks for the reply and offer of help. Both drives were originally formatted to NTFS, what Ubuntu did in it's install I'm not sure. The output you requested is below:
home@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l
[sudo] password for home:

Disk /dev/sda: 20.0 GB, 20020396032 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2434 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xd54ce4f3

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 2434 19551073+ 7 HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 41.1 GB, 41110142976 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4998 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xb6a983d8

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 1 4998 40146403+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
home@ubuntu:~$ cat /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'vol_id --uuid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/host/ubuntu/disks/root.disk / ext3 loop,errors=remount-ro,relatime 0 1
/host/ubuntu/disks/boot /boot none bind 0 0
/host/ubuntu/disks/swap.disk none swap loop,sw 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
home@ubuntu:~$ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
8.5G 4.4G 3.7G 55% /
tmpfs 249M 0 249M 0% /lib/init/rw
varrun 249M 108K 249M 1% /var/run
varlock 249M 0 249M 0% /var/lock
udev 249M 148K 249M 1% /dev
tmpfs 249M 444K 248M 1% /dev/shm
/dev/sdb1 39G 9.7G 29G 26% /host
lrm 249M 2.2M 247M 1% /lib/modules/2.6.28-13-generic/volatile
home@ubuntu:~$ free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 508672 499108 9564 0 84068 163764
-/+ buffers/cache: 251276 257396
Swap: 262136 5976 256160

Just to clarify the 20GB drive (sda) is XP and the 40GB drive is Jaunty

Thanks for any info you can give me.


Mark Phelps
July 7th, 2009, 06:44 PM
Unfortunately, "dual-boot" is a term that is being used these days to indicate two entirely different ways of having MS Windows and Ubuntu co-exist on the same machine.

The "traditional" view (what it means MOST of the time), is that you have two sets of partitions, one containing MS Windows, the other set containing Ubuntu, and you use a menu to select the OS at startup. That menu is typically provided by GRUB using a menu.lst file.

If this had been true in your case, viewing your drive, you would see NTFS partition(s) for MS Windows, and Ext3/Ext4 partition(s) for Ubuntu. But, you don't; instead, you only have NTFS partitions.

That leads to to the "newer" view of dual-boot in which you actually install Ubuntu using MS Windows, as an application, INSIDE an existing NTFS partition. This is sometimes called "side-by-side" installation.

The main problems with this second approach is that it's difficult to change the space allocation for Ubuntu later (it's not a simple matter of adjusting partition sizes), and any corruption of MS Windows could cause Ubuntu to then not boot.

So, basically, you've installed Ubuntu as an MS Windows "application". It shows the same free space because it's only looking at the available space inside the area in which you installed Ubuntu; it's not looking at the space available in the containing partition.

July 8th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Thanks for your help. After your first message, I realised that I had probably screwed-up the install and that I didn't quite understand the "Install in Windows" result. So, I reformatted the drive and did a proper install of Ubuntu on the second drive with the Ubuntu dual boot app/code to choose XP or Ubuntu. It works properly now with the correct amount of free space showing. Thanks again.