Root partition size & other numpty questions

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Root partition size & other numpty questions

Postby guy » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:02 pm

debian stable has a nice disk usage anaylyzer. It tells me that I have:
- total filestsyem capacity: 220.5 GB
- used: 14.8 GB
- / is sized at 14.3 GB, with 100% usage

Is that sensible? Or do I need to make my root partition bigger?

Also, I have never noticed /broken before, but today it has bet part of a Gig of stuff in it. Does that mean anything I should care about?

My HD often fires up with much whirring and thrashing for minutes on end, e.g. on cold boot. Might this be related to Iceweasel browser or Evolution email managing its stored stuff (these are often the only apps I use), or what else?

All still in aid of diagnosing my recurrent desktop freezes.
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Postby Rhakios » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:54 pm

100% of / eek! Something wrong there. Do a du -hs * from / (you'll need to be root to do this) and see where all that space is being used up. My guess would be /var or perhaps /tmp. On a system with a lot of stuff I never use installed, I'm only using up 6GB of my /.
I've never seen a /broken either.
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Postby guy » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:10 pm

5.1M bin
14M boot
3.3G broken
232K dev
8.8M etc
7.6G home
0 initrd.img
92M lib
16K lost+found
16K media
4.0K mnt
3.6M opt
du: cannot access `proc/4646/task/4646/fd/4': No such file or directory
du: cannot access `proc/4646/task/4646/fdinfo/4': No such file or directory
du: cannot access `proc/4646/fd/4': No such file or directory
du: cannot access `proc/4646/fdinfo/4': No such file or directory
0 proc
332K root
4.6M sbin
4.0K selinux
4.0K srv
0 sys
60K tmp
2.9G usr
504M var
0 vmlinuz

Nothing huge although /home is half of it, and it more or less adds up to that 14G

But why is / such a small fraction of the available space?

Could I be pwned and the rest r Blong 2 sum1 else?
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Postby Rhakios » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:50 pm

Oh I see, your /home isn't on a separate partition. Odd set up, unless the drive is only 15GB.
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Postby Steogede » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:26 am

What does the output of 'df -h' look like? and 'fdisk -l'?
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Postby Rhakios » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:16 pm

Hmm, looking at your original post again, I'm left wondering just what is mounted on the other 205GB odd of space. If it were unallocated space, then I'd not expect Debian's disk usage analyser to know it's there.
I'm still wondering what /broken is. Google isn't much help as broken directory seems to refer to problems people have with broken directories rather than directories called broken. What's in there, as a matter of interest?
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Postby JohnParr » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:21 pm

I'd be inclined to fire up GParted and see if it shows 200GB or so of unallocated space. You can mess up your file system if you don't know what you are doing but it will give you an easy to understand picture of how your disk is organised. It's entirely safe unless you specify an action and click the green tick.

If there is a big chunk of unallocated space you can use it by increasing the size of your debian partition. GParted can do this for you. Ask if you need help.

I think its better to keep the / mount point and /home on separate partitions. That way your data is under /home and your system under /. This means your data is safe if you want to replace or upgrade your Linux distribution. To do this you would need to create another partition in the unused space and change your /etc/FStab table. You have to be precise with this but its entirely doable especially if you have a live distribution disk to hand to fix any errors.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:33 am

If your root partition is nearing full, you will get freezes and disk thrashing, particularly when copying or downloading larger files.
What is in the /broken directory? anything recognisable?
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Postby guy » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:28 pm

Thanks all.
I remember now. This is embarrassing, let's get that bit over with: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

Part of the disk is damaged. I created /broken over the top of that bit so I could still use the rest. This is why it appears in /

Debian's disk utility tells the following story:

The first partition, /dev/sda1, is 10G and is mounted as /broken.
Everything that should be in / (except /swap and /home as below, and /broken) is to be found in there.

/dev/sda2 is an extended partition filling the remaining 155G of disk space.
Within that, the first 4.1G (i.e. next to /broken) is /swap, aka /dev/hda5.
/home then takes up the remaining 151G within the extended partition, as /dev/hda6.

So that explains why / is full - it is inside /broken which is only 10 G. But, as listed in various tools, /broken is of course mounted within / .

Urgle!

Sounds like gparted would be good, but it doesn't appear to be installed: I opened a root terminal and tried to find/run it, no luck.

I know it's on the install disk, but that doesn't have a Live mode. It does have a repair mode - would that fit the bill?

And once I get gparted or whatever going, how do I untangle / and /broken? I'm guessing the mess is something to do with /broken being the first partition on the disk? Can I bypass /sda1, or would it be better to move as many directories, like /var, /bin and so on into their own partitions the other side of /swap, i.e. at the expense of /home?

Actually, I probably mean reinstall - just moving stuff would move those crummy disk errors with it.
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Postby Rhakios » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:18 pm

My head is aching now. Before nelz can pop in with another bogglingly complicated solution, I just want to say, back up and sort it out with a complete reinstall. Phew! looks like I got that one in safely.
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Postby Ram » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:24 am

Rhakios wrote:My head is aching now. Before nelz can pop in with another bogglingly complicated solution, I just want to say, back up and sort it out with a complete reinstall. Phew! looks like I got that one in safely.


I'd also add on to a new drive - the thrashing is probably caused by the bad sectors on the drive at boot up.

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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:29 am

apt-get install gparted

mind you, if / is nearly full, you might need to make some space first!
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Postby guy » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:28 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:apt-get install gparted

mind you, if / is nearly full, you might need to make some space first!

Sounds like a plan. Since /home is mounted elsewhere, I'm not sure what I can safely delete. Isn't there likely to be some crufty old versions of stuff that has been updated, like old kernels, and some neat magic spell to clean it all out? Any man hints etc. appreciated.
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Postby JohnParr » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:05 pm

There is a neat tool called Ubuntu Tweak that has a Janitor function. This find a range of file types that can be safely deleted. If you can install that and run it you can probably create quite a bit of space. One of the things it deletes is files from the apt cache. I guess its probably safe to delete these manually. On my Ubuntu install its at /var/cache/apt/archives/ . This fills up with .deb updates and presumably allows you to reinstall should you need to but arguably you can download anything you need at a later date.

I'd be interested to know how you know that part of your disk is damaged. Gparted will allow you to manage partitions so if you know a part is damaged you can avoid using it but I would not trust my data to an unreliable disk.
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Postby guy » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:13 pm

JohnParr wrote:There is a neat tool called Ubuntu Tweak that has a Janitor function. This find a range of file types that can be safely deleted. If you can install that and run it you can probably create quite a bit of space. One of the things it deletes is files from the apt cache. I guess its probably safe to delete these manually. On my Ubuntu install its at /var/cache/apt/archives/ . This fills up with .deb updates and presumably allows you to reinstall should you need to but arguably you can download anything you need at a later date.

I'd be interested to know how you know that part of your disk is damaged. Gparted will allow you to manage partitions so if you know a part is damaged you can avoid using it but I would not trust my data to an unreliable disk.

Debian doesn't have Ubuntu Tweak by default, and I had no room to install so much as a blank text file.

What I did suddenly recall, more :oops: :oops: :oops: was that /broken actually contains a broken debian install. there is also a second, unmounted HD containing yet another broken debian install. And I recall scanning a suspect disk (though can't remember which disk or which tool) and figuring the partition size to wrap around the bad areas.

Anyway, I decided to reinstall debian, using its partitioning moment to fix things, but then ****ed up when it threatened to **** up if I reinstalled over the existing. I backed off, only to find it had wiped all knowledge of my /home partition.

Cure? My Mint 12 CD, run live, found the missing partition, so I could install on the spare HD and mount my old /home.

Currently writing this from the new Mint desktop, wondering if bits of it are mashed by the bad sectors and what scanner I used so I can find those sectors and quarantine them again.
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