I am unable to copy a 2.3GB file to any location on Ubuntu (I have a dual boot with Windows and I had reinstalled Ubuntu again)

I read some articles for reinstalling and it led to losing my old data, although they claimed it wouldn't (regrets, being in tty1 mode and unable to switch to GUI, didnt know how to backup files from there).

Is space not enough on my disk? or the earlier version is still there which has led to the reduction of space?

Any help appreciated.

enter image description here


Check the system where you want to copy the file

That you cannot copy is not related to the partitioning as such. There are some conditions for you to be able to write somewhere:

  1. The volume where you want to write, must be writable, i.e., it must be mounted readable and writable. That is normally the case for your system partition if the system functions normally.
  2. The volume where you want to write, needs to have sufficient free space available. Check "Free Space" in your file manager: right-click the folder, and select "Properties". Free space will be mentioned there.
  3. You need to have permissions to write. Linux is designed to be secure. By default, a user can only write into folders under his home folder. Check the current permissions in the same dialog as above, but now choose the "Permissions" tab. Check whether you are the owner, and have "Create and delete files" permission. If access to "Others" would be set to "Create and delete files", then any user can write, but that permission is rarely set because it becomes insecure.

Some remarks on your partitions

  • You have a 50 GB root partition that is used for your Linux system.
  • You also have a swap partition that may or may not be used. By default, current versions of Ubuntu do not create a swap partition during installation: they install a swap file. That swap space may thus be a leftover of a previous installation, and it is well possible that your current install uses it since it is there.
  • Finally, you have a 1 GB ext4 partition. Since this is also a linux partition, you must have created it at some point while using or installing linux. It is however highly unusual to create a partition that small, unless, perhaps, it is a separate /boot partition.
  • so its like swap has my previous files? (a beginner here). I had read some articles and followed them so whatever is there its the result of that. – Swarley Feb 16 at 12:13
  • 1
    No, swap is used only by the system to temporarily store data from RAM memory. – vanadium Feb 16 at 12:33
  • Thanks, I guess i will switch to windows only. All of this is a lot for me being more of Windows user. But I like using Linux more but spending 2 days to figure out tty, reinstall, losing files is a lot. Thanks for such a detailed answer too it helped. – Swarley Feb 16 at 14:59
  • I see. Switching to linux for the first time is never easy, especially if you encounter some drawbacks. Normally, you should be able to write directly in your home folder, which I would expect was on your 50 GB root partition. Is there any chance you installed /home on the separate (and way too small) 1 GB partition? That would explain you cannot copy 2 GB. – vanadium Feb 16 at 17:55
  • Alas, I have done that only. That's why I am lacking space to even copy something more than 2GB. – Swarley Feb 17 at 5:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for?Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.