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An error occurred during a regular update of my Ubuntu 12.04 installation the message box suggested to try apt-get install -f in a terminal window:


 Entpacken von linux-headers-3.2.0-38-generic (aus
 .../linux-headers-3.2.0-38-generic_3.2.0-38.59_amd64.deb) ... dpkg:
 Fehler beim Bearbeiten von
konnte nicht angelegt werden (während der Verarbeitung von
»./usr/src/linux-headers-3.2.0-38-generic/include/config/mtrr/sanitizer/spare/reg/nr/default.h«): Auf dem Gerät ist kein Speicherplatz mehr verfügbar Es wurde kein
 Apport-Bericht verfasst, da das Limit MaxReports bereits erreicht ist
                                                                                   dpkg-deb: Fehler: Unterprozess einfügen wurde durch Signal
 (Datenübergabe unterbrochen (broken pipe)) getötet Fehler traten auf
 beim Bearbeiten von: 
 E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

The error message says that there is not enough space to unpack the header file but there seems to be enough space at all filesystems:

Dateisystem                Größe Benutzt Verf. Verw% Eingehängt auf
/dev/sda1                   7,9G    6,7G  832M   90% /
udev                        1,8G    4,0K  1,8G    1% /dev
tmpfs                       715M    1,1M  714M    1% /run
none                        5,0M       0  5,0M    0% /run/lock
none                        1,8G    160K  1,8G    1% /run/shm
/dev/mapper/RAID-temporary   92G    188M   87G    1% /tmp
/dev/md0                     92M     70M   17M   81% /media/raid/boot
/dev/mapper/RAID-home        99G     57G   38G   61% /media/raid/home
/dev/mapper/RAID-rdata      3,9T    3,6T   88G   98% /media/raid/rdata
/dev/mapper/RAID-system     7,4G    5,3G  1,7G   77% /media/raid/saneba
/dev/sda5                   210G     68G  132G   34% /home
/home/franz/.Private        210G     68G  132G   34% /home/franz

What can I do?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Short answer: Uninstall old Linux kernel packages by using dpkg.

Long answer: Likely, you have run out of inodes on your file system (most likely in /usr/src where the old kernels lie, each consisting of 50'000+ files = inodes).

Check with df -i and you should see 100% IUse rate. That causes the error message about not enough space on the device.

Due to the broken state of your packages you will not be able to (un-)install anything with apt-get but have to use dpkg -r for the few oldest kernel images under /usr/src.

After that you can run apt-get install -f to solve your problem. Use Synaptic or so afterwards to uninstall other unused kernel images.

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