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

My / folder is reading as full and I can't update software or do anything.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong here.

$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             5.7G  5.4G     0 100% /
udev                  1.9G  4.0K  1.9G   1% /dev
tmpfs                 770M  1.1M  769M   1% /run
none                  5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none                  1.9G  808K  1.9G   1% /run/shm
/dev/sda6             961M   18M  895M   2% /tmp
/dev/sda7             9.9G  2.9G  6.6G  31% /home
/dev/sda3             5.7G  140M  5.3G   3% /usr/local
/dev/sda4             2.9G  1.3G  1.4G  49% /var
/dev/sdb1              94G  1.3G   88G   2% /sites
/home/username/.Private  9.9G  2.9G  6.6G  31% /home/username
/dev/sdb5             282G   88G  180G  33% /mnt/multimedia

$ df -h /
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1       5.7G  5.4G     0 100% /

$ du /mnt /media
4   /mnt/multimedia
8   /mnt
4   /media

This is a new install of Ubuntu 12.04 and I'm not sure how/why the root system is so full.

share|improve this question
huh. I guess it is full, somehow. I adjusted the questions with zwets suggested outputs – Jesse Mar 12 '13 at 7:10
For me it was filled up by outdated kernels and I cleaned them up with this dpkg -l 'linux-*' | sed '/^ii/!d;/'"$(uname -r | sed "s/\(.*\)-\([^0-9]\+\)/\1/")"'/d;s/^[^ ]* [^ ]* \([^ ]*\).*/\1/;/[0-9]/!d' | xargs sudo apt-get -y purge Got it from Ubuntu Community Help – RajaRaviVarma Apr 12 '15 at 15:56
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Some likely measures for an overflowing root partition are (based on cases):

1. Core dumps filling up the disk.

Check with:

    find / -xdev -name core -ls -o  -path "/lib*" -prune

2. Unnecessary packages filling up the space.

The following command will remove all automatically installed packages, which aren't required any more. (Because the dependency which force the installation in the past has been removed.)

    apt-get autoremove --purge 

3. Outdated kernel packages

Check how many kernel packages are installed, and remove outdated kernel versions. You may investigate the current situation with:

    dpkg -l "linux*{tools}*" |grep ^.i

Remove any kernel versions you doesn't need any more

4. Hidden storage

Other mounted partitions may hide used storage. To investigate this mount the root file system temporary on a second location:

    mkdir /tmp/2ndRoot
    mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/2ndRoot

Now look on every directory, that is normally hidden by another mount, e.g.:

  • tmp
  • home
  • run
  • var
  • usr/local

    and in your case also:

  • sites


Don`t forget to control at the end the consistency of your installation with:

apt-get install -f


Reserved storage

/dev/sda1       5.7G  5.4G     0 100% /

The output shows that you have still some space, but it seems to be reserved for root. The good point is that your system functionality is currently still be given.

But you should fix the problem soon.

Space consumption of ubuntu 12.04

To have only 5.7 Gb for an ubuntu installation seems to be a little bit to less. You should remove some not essentially needed software packages.

My current installations have 10-14 Gb for the root and binary (aka /usr) partitions.

share|improve this answer
Thanks I ended up just bumping up the root partition and I'll keep an eye on it should I have to work in your trick to view all the folders (maybe local/bin?). Odd that the disk space analyzer tool led me to believe it was the mounted drives at /media/ since they were all red and full. – Jesse Mar 12 '13 at 20:42

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.