Today I was using my (old) Compaq laptop where Lubuntu is regularly installed on a partition. Suddenly, it stopped to respond to any inputs, so I (wrongly?) decided to restart the system.

After the logo Lubuntu had shown in the end of the booting process, the screen went black, the line

Stopping System V runlevel compatibility

showed and the two following messages

Asking for cache data failed 


Assuming drive cache: write through

repeatedly appeared. My laptop was stuck there and the operating system did not start.

I have been looking for some advice on the Internet during this afternoon, especially here on askubuntu.com, but it seems sadly that nobody has encountered exactly the same type of error. I am still working on that. If you have any ideas, please reply to this post.

Many Thanks

  • I tried to restart again, both normal mode and recovery mode. Even by choosing "Previous Linux versions". I tried to do some checks by pressing "esc" at the beginning when the system starts and making some diagnostic procedures as proposed in the boot menu. The problem remained unchanged and my laptop was still stuck. – corradini riccardo Mar 21 at 15:12

At last, I managed to solve the problem:

  1. First, I run a Lubuntu live cd and I chose the first option to run Lubuntu without installing it.
  2. Then, I entered in the laptop Lubuntu partition where all folders and files are stored. I just saw that there were no more free space: the partition was completely full.
  3. I tried to delete some useless files to clean the storage, but I discovered that when using a live cd you do not have root permissions to do that. However, I identified some files I could have deleted.
  4. So I restart the system again and, when the error messages appeared, I reached the Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1.
  5. There, after having entered both username and password of my Lubuntu installation, with the two basic command lines




    I reached the files I wanted to delete;

  6. and I purged them by using

    rm -f filename.extension   

    command line.

  7. In the end, I restarted the laptop once again and now the operating system works fine.

So the problem was "simply" that there was not sufficient free space in Lubuntu partition.

One question still remains: how is it possible that I run out of space? I am pretty sure that there was some GB of free space. I really do not understand: I didn't download anything nor I created any new files or documents before the laptop froze. Please write below if you have any suggestions.

I really hope other people with the same problem will find this answer helpful.

|improve this answer|||||
  • I do not know if this may help but, before Lubuntu completely froze, I had been working with Thunderbird to check my job emails. This was in fact a new task, that I have never done before from home. Is it possible that Thunderbird was doing some sync with the job email account, downloading by default all the old emails to work off-line, so that space occupied (for example by cache files?) abruptly increased? How does sync work with Thunderbird? – corradini riccardo Mar 21 at 11:09
  • 1
    That is likely the cause. Depending on your settings Thunderbird might have downloaded all email. You can find where your "profile folder" is in the Thunderbird settings and see how big it is. – Organic Marble Mar 21 at 12:23
  • Mine is in /home/[user]/.thunderbird – Organic Marble Mar 21 at 13:51

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