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I have ubuntu 10.04 installed on my laptop with the following disk organization:

  • 20 GB for /
  • 5 GB for /home

The large root I have was intended in principle for installing large pieces of scientific software, but in fact I don't have any of that software installed currently. I have checked my disk space for installing ubuntu 12.04 and I have found that it takes ~15 GB. I have checked on the web that a typical installation should be ~4-6 GB.

My question is: how can it be? I don't have big pieces of software, I have also removed the Office Suite to have more space. I keep all my data somewhere else. My installation is pretty minimal. I have already removed all the old kernel and header files, cleaned with apt-get autoremove and removed any unused piece of software with Computer Janitor.


In fact I found 4.5GB of scientific software I had forgotten about, nonetheless the installation would be 10.5 GB without those pieces of software, that seems still a lot to me. I also have the full tetex-latex installed.

The upgrade to 12.04 require 5GB of space, and I had to remove 3.5GB of that optional software I had.

Now I have the following:

Filesystem                Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda8                  20G   15G  4.3G  78% /
udev                      993M  4.0K  993M   1% /dev
tmpfs                     401M  860K  400M   1% /run
none                      5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none                     1003M  7.0M  996M   1% /run/shm
/dev/sda6                 5.0G  4.1G  612M  88% /home

that 15GB still look like a lot, it is 3.5GB more than v10.04

output of sudo du -hs --exclude=/proc /*

8.6M    /bin
32M     /boot
0       /cdrom
460K    /core
4.0K    /dev
20M     /etc
0       /
0       /initrd.img
176M    /lib
4.4M    /lib64
16K     /lost+found
32K     /media
458M    /opt
116K    /path
19M     /root
1.1M    /run
9.3M    /sbin
4.4G    /scratch
4.0K    /selinux
200K    /srv
0       /sys
104K    /tmp
6.6G    /usr
520M    /var
0       /vmlinuz
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closed as off-topic by gertvdijk, Thomas W., RolandiXor Sep 2 '13 at 17:44

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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Can you add the output of df -h to your question just to provide some evidence. Check also how many kernels/headers you have installed - there are usually way too many, and removing all but last should free a lot of space. The command to do that is dpkg -l | grep "ii linux" – mikewhatever Aug 25 '13 at 21:44
all the unused kernels had been previously removed – simona Aug 25 '13 at 23:36
So, apparently something takes up space. Can you add the output of sudo du -hs --exclude=/proc /* as well. ...almost forgot, have you tried sudo apt-get clean? That deletes all the cached installation packages. – mikewhatever Aug 26 '13 at 0:13
The output above shows that the most space is taken by 4.4G /scratch, and 6.6G /usr. Everything else is pretty insignificant. – mikewhatever Aug 26 '13 at 20:01
without the software that I have installed in /opt and \scratch, the total installation is 7.4GB. is it typical? – simona Aug 26 '13 at 20:10

1 Answer 1

This is because the installer needs to download the updates packages first, which pretty much sums 3 times what you are using right now. Example:

You have 3 GB of programs installed, the packages to upgrade all that weights about 1.7 GB, now all those packages need to be uncompressed when installing, so you will be using 3 GB or more extra. The grand total 7.7 GB of data to do a full upgrade. That's why you need the extra space when upgrading from a release to another. In your case, since you have already /home in another partition, just install Ubuntu 12.04 on top of the root filesystem. Tell the installer that you want to use the old /home without formating, and you should be in 12.04 pretty quick.

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