Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Im not being able to run update manager as I get the error saying that there is not enough free space in the /tmp directory. I've practically cleaned out the tmp directory but the error persists.

Any help would be appreciated. here's df-h

/dev/loop0       13G   11G  952M  92% /
udev            2.0G  4.0K  2.0G   1% /dev
tmpfs           785M  920K  784M   1% /run
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            2.0G  584K  2.0G   1% /run/shm
/dev/sda6        20G   14G  6.4G  68% /host

overflow        1.0M   16K 1008K   2% /tmp
share|improve this question
    
where is your / ? Why is it on a /dev/loop ? – josinalvo Oct 13 '12 at 14:53
    
Here, a simple reboot solved the issue. As @josinalvo explained, / was full and was increased on the fly: The disk was a virtual disk. – koppor Feb 24 '14 at 19:46
up vote 24 down vote accepted

What seems to have happened:

Your / was full, then Ubuntu created a new partition, in RAM memory, to use temporarily.

Now, this 1MB partition is not big enough for the job, either.

What we can do:

1) increase the size of this partition just to do the upgrade

2) actually delete enough files in the HD that this partition is no longer needed.


To do 1:

open a terminal and run

sudo umount /tmp
sudo mount -t tmpfs -o size=1048576,mode=1777 overflow /tmp

This should give you an 1MB partition (just like the one you had =P).

Now, to increase the size, you increase the size in that line, so that, with size=10485760, you'd get 10 MB.

Your goal is to find a number that is enough for the job, but leaves enough ram too


To do 2:

open a terminal and run

sudo umount /tmp

then clean up!

Delete files in /tmp (now /tmp is the thing actually in your HD, rather than a virtual ram disk), uninstall unused packages, delete files in your home folder and so on.

share|improve this answer
3  
This answer worked for me but I needed to kill some things before /tmp would umount. If you get a message that says /tmp is busy, then do fuser -m /tmp to find pids that are using /tmp, then ps -elf <pids>, stop or kill processes. Then umount /tmp. Also suggested on internet sudo umount overflow. – gaoithe May 9 '14 at 15:10
1  
@gaoithe I used sudo lsof | grep tmp to find the pid then kill to kill it. In my case this was Xorg. This is the X Window System which I don't use anyways. – DutGRIFF May 5 '15 at 5:03
    
To do 2 even simpler: after cleanup just reboot. This avoids problems with umount /tmp because of a being busy. – Roland May 1 at 11:03
    
May i know why you have reverted back my edits? – heemayl Jul 16 at 13:49
    
Thank you for your improvements on my answer! (but some, I did not like and removed) – josinalvo Jul 16 at 13:53

I am pretty sure @user220420 was referring to /etc/fstab instead of /etc/mtab. I had lots of free GB in my root, however, Firefox wouldn't let me download anything from the internet. A small window would pop-up before finishing any download, telling /tmp had not enough space left. Within fstab, there's this line where you can increase tmp's folder size. It was set to 100M so I changed it to 1000M. After reboot, I right-clicked on /tmp (in root) and properties showed 1GB free (to make sure changes applied properly). That was it.

share|improve this answer
    
Let me tell you that this worked with other distros other than Ubuntu. I could accomplish this on Sabayon as well. – user63070 Sep 26 '14 at 18:34

I know about this problem on my Kubuntu 16.04, and user63070 shows the best answer. Change the size at /etc/fstab like this:

tmpfs     /tmp     tmpfs     defaults,size=10G,mode=1777     0     0

Reboot, and you got 10GB for your /tmp folder.

share|improve this answer

Open up /etc/mtab in your favorite text editor with root privledges (ie “sudo vim /etc/mtab”). And increase the memory allocated to your /tmp folder. After restart Ubuntu will increase the space to /tmp, and fix this problem.

share|improve this answer
1  
1) You don't edit /etc/mtab - that file is handled by mount, 2) there is probably no entry fo /tmp in etc/fstab either. – guntbert Nov 29 '13 at 20:42

Looks like your / partition is full.

If you have space on other partitions on your disk, you might use this space to increase the size of your / partition. There are tools available for this, for example gparted.

sudo apt-get install gparted

http://gparted.sourceforge.net

share|improve this answer
    
is there a 'safer' tool, apparently gparted is kinda tricky to handle especially for noobs – KodeSeeker Oct 13 '12 at 8:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.