Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Root Partition Full

This was originally posted on my family blog on 3/11/06. I will be slowly moving the geeky stuff from there to this blog.

If you've tried to access the website in the past few days you haven't been able to. I'm sorry. This will be way too much information for many of you, but so I don't forget I'll write down just what happened and how I fixed it. For the less interested, just know that I'm on top of it, and that the system is back up. Yay!

Here is the sequence of events that lead to this, as far as I can re-create them. First, I don't remember how long ago, but I installed Mandriva Linux on this machine. I probably had it automatically partition the hard drive, probably for a desktop setup. This created a root partition and a /home partition. It made the root partition about 6 GB, and all the rest of the hard drive went for /home. I put a second network card in the machine and set it up as a router for my home network. I configured samba to serve files on the network card that the home network was on, eth0. Since then I have installed the postgresql database, which by default keeps all its data in /var/lib. Also, a goodly amount of log files have accumulated. I don't know how much space this was all using before, but I made a change that started using a whole lot more recently, and not on purpose. I bought a linksys router, so I disabled eth0 on this machine. This caused samba, actually nmbd, to write lots of error messages to about 4 or 5 different log files: /var/log/messages, /var/log/syslog, /var/log/daemons/warnings, /var/log/daemons/errors, and I think /var/log/mail/warnings too, all saying it couldn't find eth0. All of these log files had grown into the hundreds of megabytes range in size. Finally, my wife saw the whole machine crash when she tried to open a rather large attachment in gmail. Firefox probably saved it to /tmp, which became the straw that broke the camel's back. Of course this happened shortly after I left town for a few days, hence it didn't get fixed until today. Ahh computers, you gotta love 'em. At least with Linux it's easy to figure exactly what when wrong like this.

Needless to say, I reconfigured samba, deleted some log files, and for good measure I removed a whole bunch of cached rpms. My root partition has 2 GB free now. I hope that lasts until I can figure out how to non-destructively resize ext3 partitions!

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