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

I have a windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.10 system that has been booting and running without problems for several months. Normally I run programs that generate a large amount of data and save it to a partition created by windows 7. This way the data is accessible in Windows and in Ubuntu, but yesterday I accidentally ran a program from the partition in which Ubuntu is installed and I think it has filled up all of that partition. I now cannot boot Ubuntu. When I boot in recovery mode and then from there to normal mode I get the messages:

starting save kernal messages [fail]
grub-editenv: error: cannot write to '/boot/grub/grubenv/new' : no space left on device

I can boot using a live-USB so dont think there are any hardware problems. The computer is not connected to a network so packages haven't been updated in a while.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can delete some disk space from the same partition as my ubuntu installation? I've tried through windows but can't see the ubuntu partition and I've tried from the live-USB boot where the HDD is visible as 1.0 TB Volume however when I right click on it and select mount there is the error: adding read ACL for uid 999 to '/media/ubuntu' failed: Operation not supported.

I am able to start the HDD installation in recovery mode and drop to root shell prompt. There are some directories I can delete in my home folder from here but I get an error saying they are read only directories, even when using sudo rm -rf <directory>. Is it possible to delete directories this way?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Select recovery mode in Grub Menu and later choose "Root Shell". Run mount -o remount,rw / to remount the root partition as read/write, then you should be able to delete files.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


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.