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As the output of df -h shows here, something is eating up 5GB of free space. So, it's not available to use. I'm also noticing sometimes that the hard disk gets filled up to 100% sometimes. So, I had to restart the machine or delete some unncessary files. Only noticed these in /home partition. Don't know whether these two are related, but appreciate if anyone can put some insight into this.

$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda8             100G   92G  2.7G  98% /home
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up vote 20 down vote accepted

By default, ext2/3/4 filesystems reserve 5% of the space to be useable only by root. This is to avoid a normal user completely filling the disk which would then cause system components to fail whenever they next needed to write to the disk.

You can see the number of reserved blocks (and lots of other information about the filesystem) by doing:

sudo tune2fs -l /dev/sda8

For a /home partition, it is probably safe to set the reserved fraction to zero:

sudo tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sda8

Which should make an additional ~5GB available.

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Yep... that's what I've been looking for. Thanks – Kasun Gajasinghe Jan 30 '13 at 15:13

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