29

I'm not able to run update manager as I get an error saying that there is not enough free space in the /tmp directory. I've practically cleaned out the tmp directory but the error persists.

here's df-h

/dev/loop0       13G   11G  952M  92% /
udev            2.0G  4.0K  2.0G   1% /dev
tmpfs           785M  920K  784M   1% /run
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            2.0G  584K  2.0G   1% /run/shm
/dev/sda6        20G   14G  6.4G  68% /host

overflow        1.0M   16K 1008K   2% /tmp
  • where is your / ? Why is it on a /dev/loop ? – josinalvo Oct 13 '12 at 14:53
  • Here, a simple reboot solved the issue. As @josinalvo explained, / was full and was increased on the fly: The disk was a virtual disk. – koppor Feb 24 '14 at 19:46
53

What seems to have happened:

Your / was full, then Ubuntu created a new partition, in RAM memory, to use temporarily.

Now, this 1MB partition is not big enough for the job, either.

What we can do:

1) increase the size of this partition just to do the upgrade

2) actually delete enough files in the HD that this partition is no longer needed.


To do 1:

open a terminal and run

sudo umount /tmp
sudo mount -t tmpfs -o size=1048576,mode=1777 overflow /tmp

This should give you an 1MB partition (just like the one you had =P).

Now, to increase the size, you increase the size in that line, so that, with size=10485760, you'd get 10 MB.

Your goal is to find a number that is enough for the job, but leaves enough ram too


To do 2:

Open a terminal and run sudo umount /tmp or, if that fails, sudo umount -l /tmp.

Then clean up!

Delete files in /tmp (now /tmp is the thing actually in your HD, rather than a virtual ram disk), uninstall unused packages, delete files in your home folder and so on.

  • 5
    This answer worked for me but I needed to kill some things before /tmp would umount. If you get a message that says /tmp is busy, then do fuser -m /tmp to find pids that are using /tmp, then ps -elf <pids>, stop or kill processes. Then umount /tmp. Also suggested on internet sudo umount overflow. – gaoithe May 9 '14 at 15:10
  • 2
    @gaoithe I used sudo lsof | grep tmp to find the pid then kill to kill it. In my case this was Xorg. This is the X Window System which I don't use anyways. – DutGRIFF May 5 '15 at 5:03
  • 1
    To do 2 even simpler: after cleanup just reboot. This avoids problems with umount /tmp because of a being busy. – Roland May 1 '16 at 11:03
  • May i know why you have reverted back my edits? – heemayl Jul 16 '16 at 13:49
  • 1
    Actually, I failed to umount this tmpfs by all above ways. I googled umount -l /tmp and it helped. – Leotsarev Dec 11 '17 at 21:06
4

I know about this problem on my Kubuntu 16.04, and user63070 shows the best answer. Change the size at /etc/fstab like this:

tmpfs     /tmp     tmpfs     defaults,size=10G,mode=1777     0     0

Reboot, and you got 10GB for your /tmp folder.

3
sudo mount -o remount,size=1048576 /tmp

changes tmpfs size without need to unmount partition and hence not disturbing running apps.

0

I am pretty sure @user220420 was referring to /etc/fstab instead of /etc/mtab. I had lots of free GB in my root, however, Firefox wouldn't let me download anything from the internet. A small window would pop-up before finishing any download, telling /tmp had not enough space left. Within fstab, there's this line where you can increase tmp's folder size. It was set to 100M so I changed it to 1000M. After reboot, I right-clicked on /tmp (in root) and properties showed 1GB free (to make sure changes applied properly). That was it.

  • Let me tell you that this worked with other distros other than Ubuntu. I could accomplish this on Sabayon as well. – vienswuer Sep 26 '14 at 18:34
-1

Open up /etc/mtab in your favorite text editor with root privledges (ie “sudo vim /etc/mtab”). And increase the memory allocated to your /tmp folder. After restart Ubuntu will increase the space to /tmp, and fix this problem.

  • 1
    1) You don't edit /etc/mtab - that file is handled by mount, 2) there is probably no entry fo /tmp in etc/fstab either. – guntbert Nov 29 '13 at 20:42
-1

Looks like your / partition is full.

If you have space on other partitions on your disk, you might use this space to increase the size of your / partition. There are tools available for this, for example gparted.

sudo apt-get install gparted

http://gparted.sourceforge.net

  • is there a 'safer' tool, apparently gparted is kinda tricky to handle especially for noobs – seeker Oct 13 '12 at 8:47

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.