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Thread: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    At startup, I have ~1G available in my home directory.

    Occasionally, I'll get Ubuntu warning messages that I have XXXM space remaining. For instance, ATM:
    Code:
    chris@chris-x1c6:~$ mydf
    Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    udev            7.7G     0  7.7G   0% /dev
    tmpfs           1.6G  5.5M  1.6G   1% /run
    /dev/nvme0n1p5   40G   38G   75M 100% /
    tmpfs           7.8G  8.0K  7.8G   1% /dev/shm
    tmpfs           5.0M  4.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
    tmpfs           7.8G     0  7.8G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
    /dev/nvme0n1p4   50G   12G   39G  24% /media/Share
    /dev/nvme0n1p1  256M   34M  223M  13% /boot/efi
    tmpfs           1.6G   16K  1.6G   1% /run/user/121
    tmpfs           1.6G   44K  1.6G   1% /run/user/1000
    Can anyone provide suggestions for debugging and resolving this. Many thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    Code:
    /dev/nvme0n1p5   40G   38G   75M 100% /
    is the only storage that matters. The tmpfs are virtual file systems and safely ignored.

    For most normal users, 35G is needed just for the 20.04 and later OSes. That doesn't include space for /home/.
    If the partition is filling up, delete some files. Clean up some old programs and old data and consider adding another partition for the /home/ to have HOME and the OS separate. Also, you can clean up cache files and extra snap versions.

    So, how to all of this?
    Start with the easy stuff.
    Code:
    sudo apt autoremove
    sudo apt autoclean
    Here's a script to clean up old snap packages:
    $ more ~/bin/snap-remove-disabled
    Code:
    #!/bin/sh
    set -eu
    
    snap list --all | awk '/disabled/{print $1, $3}' |
        while read snapname revision; do
        sudo snap remove "$snapname" --revision="$revision"
        done
    Run those and see if that helps.
    I don't think any of those commands can do any harm.
    Last edited by TheFu; October 8th, 2021 at 04:55 PM. Reason: added missing code-tags.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    Thanks, that opened up about 170M.

    Speaking of, I'd originally created the partition with 40GB since it seemed like way more than I'd need. I was ablet to resize my main partition to open up about 140G of space, but it isn't adjacent to the drive in question (I have another partition that sits between it that I've formatted to be used for common storage for each).



    Any way to use this to extend my existing Ubuntu partition

  4. #4
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    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    Quote Originally Posted by cAlpha View Post
    Any way to use this to extend my existing Ubuntu partition
    You could create a new ext4 partition in the unallocated space, and mount it somewhere in Ubuntu's file system to use as additional place to keep some of your files. In that way, you could "extend" your space.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis N View Post
    You could create a new ext4 partition in the unallocated space, and mount it somewhere in Ubuntu's file system to use as additional place to keep some of your files. In that way, you could "extend" your space.
    Not looking for another place to keep files, looking for extra space for the base Ubuntu installation.

  6. #6
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    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    Quote Originally Posted by cAlpha View Post
    Not looking for another place to keep files, looking for extra space for the base Ubuntu installation.
    You'd have to move partition 4 and 5 to the left to adjoin partition 3. Then you could expand partition 5 to the right. gparted has a resize/move operation for partitions that may be what you are looking for. Be sure to back up any important data if you use that. I think it's a risky operation.

    Added Comment
    if you understand LVM and are willing to reinstall Ubuntu, you could create a new partition in the current unallocated space, then create a volume group out of this new partition and partition 5. Then install Ubuntu on a logical volume in that volume group. That logical volume can then use space in both partitions.
    Last edited by Dennis N; October 8th, 2021 at 07:03 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    What is the output of:
    Code:
    cd /; sudo du -sh *
    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    Quote Originally Posted by cAlpha View Post
    Not looking for another place to keep files, looking for extra space for the base Ubuntu installation.
    First - I don't know if you were just lucky or made a smart choice, but excellent that the HDD partitioning is using GPT. That provides options and simplifies things that the old 1984 MBR/MSDOS partitioning method would vastly complicate. MSDOS partitioning almost always means dealing with Logical Partitions inside an Extended Partition. With GPT that stuff doesn't exist and we can simply create partitions - I think 128 are allowed. This can be very handy.

    There are lots of options, but none are easy or without great risk.
    Shifting a partition has risks and takes a very long time. I did it once and would never, ever, ever, do it again.
    If you had installed with LVM (it is a checkbox in most installers), making use of the extra storage wouldn't be very hard. LVM == Logical Volume Management. You can look what it can do up on wikipedia or 500 different websites. It is more complex than "simple partitions." Also, at install time, it takes expert level control to setup on a dual-boot system.

    The way that I deal with dual-boot - is that I don't. I put Windows inside a virtual machine and let the more advanced OS control all the hardware.

    There are other options too. Like you could probably copy the 40G partition into the start of the 140G space, then setup the boot stuff to point to that other partition and delete the old 40G partition. That will oddly be faster than shifting, but it will entail manually doing some things that the installers handle automatically. Expect to manually edit the /etc/fstab file. It isn't hard, but it is extremely detailed work. If you get anything wrong in doing that, forgetaboutit.

    What I would do is 2 things.
    0) Create a full backup of everything on the system that you cannot lose. This is all very dangerous stuff.
    1) Create 3 new partitions from the start of the free space. Use gparted. Give each a unique LABEL. UNUSED01, SWAP01, HOME01
    2) The first will be a placeholder that we'll delete when done. Make it 20G. It will be emergency space that your Windows can grow into if you out grow it, just a little. Expanding to the "right" is easy. Expanding to the "left" is very, very, hard. This 20G will be a little reminder that you need to buy a new HDD, should you expand into it. Do not format it.
    3) Remove the swap file from the main Linux partition (swapoff) and create a swap partition - 4.1G in size. Put that in the unused space, far "left" after the 20G free space. You can look up how to accomplish that. Format it as "Linux Swap" - LABEL = SWAP01
    4) Create a new partition to hold /home. Make it the size you think you'll need, but do not allocate all the space. Leave room to grow to the "right." Maybe start with 30G. Format it as ext4. - LABEL = HOME01

    After changing all this, reboot and see the new "names" for the partitions. If you can, reboot into a Try Ubuntu environment off a flash USB drive. This will make things easier for the next steps. Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, ... whatever ... it doesn't matter. Just make it the same release that you have installed.

    The next steps are to tell the Ubuntu OS where this new storage is, how to mount it (/etc/fstab) and copy files from the OLD /home over to the new /home/ while both are mounted to .... somewhere else. I'd create 2 directories - /mnt/old and /mnt/new, then mount the old / to /mnt/old and the new 30G partition we created above as ext4, to /mnt/new. Then I'd use sudo mv /mnt/old/home/* /mnt/new/ Note the exact levels of the FROM and TO commands. The mv command is destructive, so if you get it wrong (or I made a mistake), it won't be good. You cannot use a GUI and copy/paste stuff. That will break things and doesn't provide the control over details that is needed.

    After that move is done, we need to mount the home and swap partitions. It would be smart to use either a LABEL= or UUID= instead of the device name. Use the blkid command to get the mapping between the device name and the LABEL/UUID. Remember those labels we put on each partition? Those will come in handy now. Labels are must easier for humans than UUIDs. You can use either, as you like. Having a label on a partition doesn't prevent using UUIDs.

    I'd verify that the /mnt/old/etc/fstab file is correct for the new storage and new swap partition.
    A new line will be needed to mount /home partition onto /home.
    Code:
    LABEL=HOME01  /home ext4   noatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
    For the swap, you'll change from a swap file line ... probably something like /swapfile ---> the new 4.1G swap partition ... /dev/nvme0n1p8? I don't know the actual device.
    Code:
    LABEL=SWAP01  none    swap   sw      0       0
    Don't forget to delete the unused swapfile. Since we deleted that line in the /etc/fstab file, deleting it now or after reboot isn't hard.

    In theory, that should be it. Reboot into the Ubuntu, not using the flash drive. Label's are cool. Just know they have to be unique for any storage ever connected to the system. To see a label for a partition (or other file system object), use:
    Code:
    lsblk -e 7 -o name,size,type,fstype,label,mountpoint
    There are other ways, but this is very handy.

    It takes much more to write this out than it takes to actually do the task.
    What you've done is used about 60G of space in the 140G unallocated area. The new HOME01 area can be expanded to-the-right easily using gparted in the future, if needed.
    You've switched from using a swapfile to using a swap partition. 4.1G is probably the best size for a swap file on a desktop Linux. You cannot hibernate if you have more RAM, but if you've gone to the effort to use encryption for data, then you don't want to use hibernation anyways. Standby mode still works, btw.
    And we freed up the space in the old OS partition used by both the swap and /home files. That should be 10G or more. If you autoremove and autoclean and remove unused snaps, the amount of storage there should be fine for years.

    Here's my 20.04 desktop:
    Code:
    $ dft
    Filesystem                 Type  Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/mapper/vgubuntu--root ext4   19G   11G  7.2G  60% /
    /dev/mapper/vgubuntu--home ext4   12G  6.8G  4.4G  61% /home
    Note the used sizes.

    I use LVM, so don't worry about the first column too much. I'm running a minimal install and don't install 50 different bloated GUI programs on it. You can't see it, but those allocations are actually split across 2 SSDs. 1 is 30G and the other is 10G. I was caught running out of space just like you. Thanks to LVM, I was able to expand the / (root) logical volume into the 2nd disk. I left home where it was. I would never allow an LV to span across physical devices ... and I haven't here either. Both the disks are virtual and come from the same physical SSD.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    Quote Originally Posted by ActionParsnip View Post
    What is the output of:
    Code:
    cd /; sudo du -sh *
    Thanks
    Code:
    chris@chris-x1c6:/$ sudo du -sh *
    17M	bin
    151M	boot
    4.0K	cdrom
    26M	chris
    8.0K	dev
    4.0K	E
    18M	etc
    15G	home
    0	initrd.img
    0	initrd.img.old
    948M	lib
    5.8M	lib32
    4.0K	lib64
    16K	lost+found
    4.2T	media
    4.0K	mnt
    474M	opt
    du: cannot access 'proc/4071/task/4071/fd/4': No such file or directory
    du: cannot access 'proc/4071/task/4071/fdinfo/4': No such file or directory
    du: cannot access 'proc/4071/fd/3': No such file or directory
    du: cannot access 'proc/4071/fdinfo/3': No such file or directory
    0	proc
    1.3M	root
    du: cannot access 'run/user/1000/gvfs': Permission denied
    4.7M	run
    15M	sbin
    14G	snap
    8.0K	srv
    0	sys
    148K	tmp
    9.6G	usr
    9.1G	var
    0	vmlinuz
    0	vmlinuz.old

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Rapidly decreasing home free space available

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post

    ...

    I use LVM, so don't worry about the first column too much. I'm running a minimal install and don't install 50 different bloated GUI programs on it. You can't see it, but those allocations are actually split across 2 SSDs. 1 is 30G and the other is 10G. I was caught running out of space just like you. Thanks to LVM, I was able to expand the / (root) logical volume into the 2nd disk. I left home where it was. I would never allow an LV to span across physical devices ... and I haven't here either. Both the disks are virtual and come from the same physical SSD.
    Thanks for the thorough reply.

    Part of me had considered, aside from moving partitions, that the easiest way to deal with this might just be to:

    (1) save all of my configuration files and the 'Share' partition files onto a connected external drive
    (2) wipe the existing partitions
    (3) incorporate back into the Windows partition
    (4) recreate the Share and Ubuntu partitions again, this time sizing more appropriately
    (5) reinstall Ubuntu and replace backed up Share files onto new Share partition

    Any reason this would be less desirable than what you're describing?

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