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comment Security issue: output from “netstat -a” with no internet connection
Looks pretty non-suspicious to me. "Active Internet connections" actually means "Internet protocol" which can be internal to the machine, as indeed the only things ESTABLISHED are on your loopback interface ("ip6-localhost"), which allows intra-machine connections to work with no external network connection. The Unix domain sockets are always internal-only. What specifically has you concerned?
comment How to free space on AWS Ubuntu 12.04.5 Instance
On the troubled machine, can you remove any files from /tmp, or perhaps purge some logs from /var/log? You will need some free space before you can do anything, it sounds like. Probably doesn't need to be a lot but it sounds like you're up against a wall on free space.
comment How to free space on AWS Ubuntu 12.04.5 Instance
I have created a launched a second instance based on the offending AMI for testing ... you created a new AMI of this instance, or created a new instance using the same AMI used to originally launch this instance?
comment problem removing mysql
When you see E:Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1), you need to scroll up. The actual error may have occurred many lines previous.
comment Amazon EC2 Ubuntu Server 14.04 apt doesn't work can't install
I don't think that's the "full" error. Scroll up for a previous, more specific message.
comment Is syncing a MySQL database with Dropbox this easy, and is it a backup solution?
What they are most likely achieving is a false sense of security. Yes, I suspect a backup is the intended outcome, but unless the server has very low traffic and Dropbox's algorithm is very aggressive, it's unlikely that the backups will be viable. Even then, the server, during startup from such a backup, is likely to need some time to recover from what it sees as evidence (in the files) of a crash occurring... best case.
comment Ubuntu virtual memory overcommit apparently hitting MySql performance
Where is /dev/sdb mounted? I don't see a memory issue here, but 100% disk saturation seems to be telling you something. Does the performance of MySQL improve after it has been running for a while?