I have installed ubuntu server on flash and have done a few things to minimise writes to disk. One of the things I have done is to direct a number of directories to ram via tmpfs. You can see how I have things set up below:

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sde1              1290072   1228448         0 100% /
udev                   3990268         8   3990260   1% /dev
tmpfs                  4032204         0   4032204   0% /tmp
tmpfs                  1612884       296   1612588   1% /run
none                      5120         0      5120   0% /run/lock
none                   4032204         0   4032204   0% /run/shm
tmpfs                  4032204         0   4032204   0% /var/tmp
tmpfs                  4032204       564   4031640   1% /var/log
tmpfs                  4032204        16   4032188   1% /var/log/apt
/dev/md127           3845715976  35833316 3809882660   1% /massiveData
/dev/sde6              2401840     82872   2196960   4% /home

I received an email from my system saying the following. Anyone know what I should do to fix this?

/usr/bin/mandb: can't write to /var/cache/man/5766: No space left on device
run-parts: /etc/cron.daily/man-db exited with return code 2

It's just trying to update the manpage databases (used for apropos etc). These aren't very important, you can ignore them / disable the cronjob.

The contents of /var/cache should always be safe to delete.


You sort of have two issues.

First your root partition, /dev/sde1 is full. This is the source of your error message (not tmpfs).

You should make space either by deleting necessary files or enlarging the partition. You can make some space with

sudo apt-get clean

Second, if you wish, you could mount /var/cache in tmpfs ;)

  • Thanks. I have been struggling to increase the size of root all day. I want to shrink home and increase root but parted tells me it can not shrink home. Facing a rebuild here :( – Amir Feb 26 '12 at 22:50
  • You should manage your partitions with a live CD, you can not resize partitions while they are in use. – Panther Feb 27 '12 at 0:21
  • i was booted from a different drive when i was trying to change partition sizes. – Amir Feb 27 '12 at 0:40
  • Hard to know with what little information you posted. Sometimes you need to resize in steps, sometimes you need to somewhat move your partitions. – Panther Feb 27 '12 at 0:55

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