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I was zeroing out the free space on my Ubuntu 12.04 using sfill, when the command stopped responding and I had to reboot the machine.

Now, the system says that it has no space left, and that it is running in low graphics mode. Before this happened, I had nearly 500 gig free.

df says there are 0 bytes free. df -i reports only 2% of INODES used.

I've run fsck and it didn't resolve the issue.

What can I do to resolve the issue?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

sfill is from secure-delete package (also provides srm)

Traditionally we zero out like this:

    cat /dev/zero > wtf; sync; sleep 3; sync; rm -f wtf

In your case, you were using sfill, not sure what arguments you used (what kind of files it was writing either), if you remember the cwd (current working directory) while your were running sfill from, you can cd there and use ls -lahS to see if there is huge files, if so, just delete it.

If you don't remember, try using the following command to find big files, the below example find 10GiB+ files.

    find / -depth -type f -size +10G -exec ls -lhS {} \;

NOTE: This has nothing to do with inodes (there must be a huge file which filled the HDD). fsck won't help because it is not a filesystem issue.

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Thank you! Please forgive my ignorance. Although I've been using Linux for about two years, I'm still learning. It was a huge file, named in the root. – Andrew Neely Nov 6 '12 at 4:52
No worries, Andrew.Good to hear you finally found the file. Just going back to the basics, I've made similar mistakes long long time ago. Looks like I've learned from mistakes. BTW: I didn't expect sfill to use such a dummy name though lol;-) – Terry Wang Nov 6 '12 at 8:42

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