• We had to restore from a backup today after a failed software update. Backup was from 0000 EDT and restored it at 0800 EDT so we lost about 8hrs. Today is 07/20/2024. More info here.

Low disk space on “Filesystem root”, partitans & .Private Used


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Sep 11, 2020
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Months ago I created partitions, installed Mint, fiddled with the partitans more and had issues such as: having a small partition which I couldn't shrink or move into another because of proximity, some how I set up encryption, when logging into the original solo boot of Windows I elected to update and messed up my Mint, I restored, later I updated Mint though I then restored since I didn't like the newer version, and now I've got a full disk of files, a full .Private folder, and I'm unable to use the partition I setup where I want to move the files & share files between Mint & Windows.

I've copied/pasted my docs/files to a usb but haven't deleted the originals yet. I'd like to move them to the other partition. Message says to install Samba but I would like to at least clear up the tiny partition and utilize the extra partition but ask if I need Samba.

Here is my df -h results.
df -h.png

In Mint fire up "Disk Usage Analyzer" so as to get some idea of what is using up all the space.
After determining the 'space-hog(s)' and what can be done about them and taking remedial action, then fire up "GParted" and take a look at the partitions and layout and see what can be rearranged.

You can start GParted from within Mint using the applications menu (it may need to be installed first) but will not be able to work with the partitions. In order to do that you will need to boot a "Live" disk - either Mint or GParted disk - and run GParted from there. The hard drive you are arranging partitions on must be unmounted when working on it.

P.S. When working with disk partitions there is always a risk of catastrophic failure and 'borking' the system beyond repair. Good backups of your data are recommended and perhaps a Timeshift backup of your system.
Also it's easier to manage your disk space when using LVM. That way you can add disks to the volume group and expand logical volumes where needed, and saves you the trouble from having to deal with resizing partitions with gparted or a similar tool.
Thank you, Vrai and f33dm3bits. I will take these tips. I did run "Disk Usage Analyzer" and found items I'm not familiar with and others that relate to some items I mentioned. This first screen shot is very concerning.
disk 3.png

then I have this
files from 2020-09-11 10-10-56.png

Which I'm guess I should thin out. It looks like the large snapshots relate to that restore era after I upgraded and decided to go back to the older version

Below is the status of the .Private and the .ecryptfs which I mentioned but don't know about. The highlighted file is huge.

disk 2.png

Of course I have lots going on so I'll have to do some research and learning about these files et al but its going to take me some time. I have a new project and I'm taking an electronics circuit course too!!! Exciting!

Today I'll remove some docs though it doesn't look like that's a real issue.
O.K. But there is just one problem - you do not show the sizes of the various directories.

In order to show the disk usage of " / " ( root ) with Disk Usage Analyzer you need to run it as "root" or 'superuser'. Thusly:
sudo baobab

Give it time to run. You should see something similar to this;

And if you hover your mouse over the graphical chart it will show the various directories and their size - like this;

I could 'guess' or 'assume' the most likely culprits using up the disk space - as in log files or Timeshift backups - but it would be better to "know" exactly what is using up the space.
Proceed from there and then we can look at GParted and see about arranging more space.
/dev/sda4 is plenty large enough for a 'usual' Mint install so it may just be a matter of moving personal files to /dev/sda6.

Be careful running Disk Usage Analyzer as 'root'. Just look, observe, and perhaps screenshot - then close.
Aha! Found the commands I was looking for to determine what disk usage is.

the biggest directories will be at the end:
sudo du -hx / | sort -h
just the root '/' file system
sudo du  -xh -d 1 / | sort -h

Say /var was "too big"; you can get more info by
sudo du -h /var | sort -h
sudo du -ha /var | sort -h

(du: -h = human readable; -x = stay on filesystem)

-x = stay on filesystem
-h = human readable
-a = show all files.
-d 1 = depth = 1

Can't remember where I found this but I owe someone a big "thanks"!
I have recently used
du -ah /var/log
to find a similar culprit in /var/log (thanks @wizardfromoz )
Lots of large files. Encrypt I don't know about but uses a lot of space.


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  • home ecryptfs 65 g.png
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G'day @Learning2 and welcome to linux.org :)

Have you tried launching Timeshift and deleting some of the snapshots you don't need?

Chris Turner
Lots of large files. Encrypt I don't know about but uses a lot of space.
See #5 above:
In order to show the disk usage of " / " ( root ) with Disk Usage Analyzer you need to run it as "root" or 'superuser'. Thusly:
sudo baobab
From your above screenshots it appears Timeshift backups are using quite a bit of space. 110.3 GB. You could probably clean out some of the older ones as mentioned by @wizardfromoz above.

It appears that the 65.3 GB directory is an encrypted /home directory.

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