When I run the command to install the package solr-jetty, I am told

You don't have enough free space in /var/cache/apt/archives/

Here's the result of the df -H command:

enter image description here

I have installed Ubuntu with VirtualBox on my Mac.

How can I fix this problem?

  • In my case, this problem went away by just rebooting the system. I guess my computer has commutated very much temporary files. Dec 18, 2020 at 10:20

7 Answers 7

sudo apt-get autoclean

This will delete all packages not currently installed. If that doesn't free up enough space, then use sudo apt-get clean. This clears out all .debs downloaded and/or installed.

But it looks like your hard disk is out of space. Seriously out of space. 61Mb is not enough for a good working system. I found 2 alternatives that can circumvent space-related problems though both might be hard to pull off when using a virtual machine. A more permanent solution would be to increase the size of your virtual machine (and I would also advise using the method that allows the machine to dynamically increase in size; VirtualBox has such a setting).

Alternative if you have a partition or external storage.

With this method you re-route the location where .debs are stored:

sudo mv -i /var/cache/apt /media/{dir_of_mounted_disc}
sudo ln -s /media/{dir_of_mounted_disc}/apt /var/cache/apt

Run the upgrade and install. After you are done you can switch back to normal with:

sudo apt-get clean
sudo unlink /var/cache/apt
sudo mv /media/{dir_of_mounted_disc}/apt /var/cache

Of course {dir_of_mounted_disc} needs to be changed to the name of your mounted disc.

Another alternative

This way you create a RAM disc:

sudo mkdir /media/{directory}
sudo mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /media/{directory}
sudo ln -s /media/{directory}/apt /var/cache/apt

Clean up as with the 1st alternative.

Warning this requires a large amount of RAM so may not be useable when using a virtual system.

  • 2
    I tried the two commands and I have the same 'not enough space' message
    – epsilones
    Aug 22, 2012 at 9:35
  • So I edited my question put the visual result of the command (soory I put some image because I don't know how to copy paste the content of the shell...)
    – epsilones
    Aug 22, 2012 at 9:41
  • By the way, I tried with what I got by doing ls in the media directory, I found 'cdrom'. So I ran the sudo mw command and I got an error message : could not create directory /media/cdrom/apt : 'read only filme system'...
    – epsilones
    Aug 22, 2012 at 9:53
  • Do you mean the last command you suggested are useless if I don't have a USB stick or an external HDD ?
    – epsilones
    Aug 22, 2012 at 10:05
  • @newben no problem :) if you do not mind please remove all the comments (except the 1st one :D ) since we are turning this in a chat :+
    – Rinzwind
    Aug 22, 2012 at 10:16

These commands will remove extra packages that are no longer required .

Open terminal (Ctrl-Alt-T) and type

sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get autoremove 

Whenever you install a program, the packages (.deb files) get stored in /var/cache/apt/archives, which obviously take up space (a lot of space if there are many packages installed).

To get rid of them, use:

sudo apt-get clean

Incase you're wondering what is the difference between clean and autoclean, here is what the man page says:

clean: clean clears out the local repository of retrieved package files. It removes everything but the lock file from /var/cache/apt/archives/ and /var/cache/apt/archives/partial/. APT is used as a dselect(1) method, clean is run Those who do not use dselect will likely want to run apt-get clean time to time to free up disk space.

autoclean: Like clean, autoclean clears out the local repository of package files. The difference is that it only removes package files can no longer be downloaded, and are largely useless. This a cache to be maintained over a long period without it out of control. The configuration option Clean-Installed will prevent installed packages from erased if it is set to off.


this error message showed up on a raspberry pi zero-w with fresh install of Raspbian 10 Buster:

You don't have enough free space in /var/cache/apt/archives/.

The other answers here are valid, but this fresh image had no significant previous packages for removal, so removing them didn't help.

solution (1): use raspi-config --> Advanced --> Expand Filesystem

this will expand the root filesystem to use the entire sd card.

solution (2): or from the command line:

raspi-config --expand-rootfs

I hit this error and fixed this by removing none docker. you can remove none docker by one of these lines:

docker rmi $(docker images -f "dangling=true" -q) -f
docker rm $(docker ps -a -q)
docker image rm $(docker image ls -f 'dangling=true' -q)
  • Does this answer address the question? Mar 19, 2022 at 6:12
  • Yes, this is about freeing up space in ubuntu. Mar 19, 2022 at 6:21
  • Yes I agree with @AliGanjbakhsh. I ran docker system prune to remove dangling containers & images, and it solved my out of space error.
    – Jono
    Jul 26, 2022 at 10:13
  • If you're looking for this issue in the context of a docker container - this is the answer: stackoverflow.com/questions/65291124/…
    – charlieb
    Apr 21, 2023 at 0:20
  • In general you should use xargs to pipe in arguments instead of command substitution. May 14, 2023 at 23:14

The issue re: 'You don't have enough free spacve in /var/cache/apt/archives/' may be related to this bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/update-manager/+bug/1054903 Particularly if /var/cache/apt is on a tmpfs which gets erased every boot. Is it possible that you've sym-linked /var/cache/ to /tmp/cache/ or something similar in order to save space?

If this is the case the instructions to solve/work-arround it are on the bug report above.

  • 1
    Can you add a summary of the suggested workaround, quote parts that need quoting, and add relevant steps to take from the link.
    – Mateo
    Oct 5, 2012 at 1:05

This is more of a workaround/helpful tip.

This was happening on my virtual machine because I had allocated too much space to swap (close to 40%). I quickly resized it using gparted and was able to reclaim some more space for the root partition.

Now I can update the long neglected VM which required about 3GB of updates.

  • 2
    Docker images for me. Removed the ones I didn't need. Apr 3, 2020 at 21:20

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