I have a mini laptop with 100MB remaining (on a 4GB drive). The computer has an SD slot and I have a 2GB SD card available. Xubuntu says that only 2GB are required, I could also have it set up with ssh keys to plenty of memory on my desktop and server.

Currently when I try to upgrade from Xubuntu 10.10 to 11.04, I get the following error:

Not enough free disk space

The upgrade has aborted. The upgrade needs a total of 1,717M free space on disk '/'. Please free at least an additional 1,610M of disk space on '/'. Empty your trash and remove temporary packages of former installations using 'sudo apt-get clean'.

Is there a way that I can use my SD card for the extra free space that is required?


There is some confusion here. A fresh installation of Xubuntu requires a minimum of 2GB of hard drive space. The fact that you are currently using 3.7GB means this is not a fresh installation, thus that 2GB no longer applies. To upgrade an existing installation requires enough space on the hard drive for the actual installation plus temporary file space required during the upgrade. The suggestion to move /home to the SD card would seem valid. This frees space the upgrade will require, since it must have both new and old copies of applications and files at the same time. You could also attempt to free space by removing files in /tmp.

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    thank you for the clarification. however, /home only has 100mb and /tmp has 6. Is it possible to use the SD card as the temporary storage during installation? – David LeBauer May 17 '11 at 14:43
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    I am not familiar with how the flash card is detected. If it shows as a drive, it could be used as /tmp, freeing space used by temporary files on the hard drive. – charlie-tca Jun 11 '11 at 12:35

A solution could be to put your home folders on the SD card and deleting them from your flash card thus freeing valuable space. To use the SD card as an extension for your flash card is in my opinion not possible as they are two separate partitions.

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    Add on: remove standard applications like office and so on. than upgrade and than install the apps you need. The rationale is that after an upgrade the system requires more or less the same amount of space but during the upgrade you need more space as new files need to be stored before obsolete files will be deleted. – dago May 16 '11 at 19:14

For the SD card to be used for extra space i do not know if it can be done but for several reasons i think it is not recommended. Specially if the SD slot gets damaged/old, the SD card gets damaged (Since it is a portable media device) and the most likely is that the booting part would not recognise the SD in some cases so it would not boot from there. you also can not divide the system in one small part in the internal hard drive and the rest in the SD.

Now for the recommendations. I would highly suggest to start removing stuff from the 4GB hard drive. With 100MB you will not be able to install almost nothing (Maybe Damn Small Linux) but not Ubuntu/Lubuntu/?buntu. Anyway the upgrade fails saying that message because you have 100MB and it needs 1.7 Free. If you check the sizes you will noticed that the additional size it mentions is 100MB less than the one it needs. So it is saying that you need to free AT LEAST 1.6GB from the 4GB hard drive to be able to install it.


You can reformat the whole 4GB drive so that you can use all disk space to store the OS on. This can be done when installing ubuntu or any other distributions. Another option is to actually buy a external Hard drive to store everything on and just use your 4GB as Boot record. For me personally I would do this, memory cost hardly anything today.

Other than what is said before I would suggest installing another operating system such as Lubuntu or Cloud OS and so on...

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