My partition, /dev/sda7 is listed as 100% full. I already requested help from others more knowledgeable than me, and someone had me run "sudo chmod 755 /dev/sda7 -R", which I've since been told that could have screwed up my system. My end-goal is simply to bring /dev/sda7 down to 60% used, when I run "df".

Note: I'm not able to copy and paste, as I'm using TTY1. But here are the results, the old-fashioned way.

df -H  

Filesystem      Size    Used    Avail   Use%    Mounted on  
/dev/sda7       41G     39G       0     100%    /  
none            4.1k    0       4.1k    0%  /sys/fs/cgroup  
udev            976M    4.1k    976M    1%  /dev  
tmpfs           198M    1.1M    197M    1%  /run  
none            5.3M    0       5.3M    0%  /run/lock  
none            989M    5.5M    984M    1%  /run/shm  
none            105M    25k     105M    1%  /run/user  
overflow        1.1M    8.2k    1.1M    1%  /tmp  
none            989M    36M     953M    4%  /tmp/guest-msHuGq  
/home/d/.Private    41G 39G      0     100% /home/d

l /dev/sda7


Note: BOLD text denotes text returned in yellow font color, instead of standard color.

Edit. First off, thanks for the response, AND explanations. Much appreciated. Here are some results.

du -ah /mnt | sort -h -r | head -n 10
sort: write failed: /tmp/sortuCKknB: No space left on device

I think the ls command was able to help some here? And yes, i'm pretty sure, but lack the knowledge to verify that /dev/sda7 is my primary partition, the one i'm using right now.

ls /mnt

bin boot cdrom dev etc home initrd.img initrd.img.old lib lost+found media mnt opt proc root run sbin srv sys **tmp** usr var vmlinuz vmlinuz.old

Above, bold denotes text highlighted in green.

I also think I mistakenly typed at one point: du -ah /mnt(without the added options/modifiers -- typo'd "enter" on the pipe |). That returned a massive list that scrolled on for ~10mins. (Sadly, i'm unable to copy & paste it as I'm in TTY1, and neither the mouse, nor most ctrl commands work there. I've poked around into how to copy & paste in TTY, and it seems to require downloading a program, which i don't expect to have room on this partition to download.)

I can type out the results of sudo fdisk -l if need be, including start & end numbers, blocks, ID, and system info for each partition, per request...?

EDIT: SUCCESS! /dev/sda7 down to 78%; /home/d/.Private down to 78%! I'm now able to log into user d's account!

Now i just have minor questions, like how to delete sub-directories, and directories with ()s, since they give error messages. But again, minor.

Thanks to everybody who posted helpful suggestions!@

  • you need to write here df command's output for you get correct answer. Sep 15, 2014 at 16:59
  • Exactly "what" is on /dev/sda7? If you post that then people can give better answers about what to either delete or move to another partition..
    – headkase
    Sep 15, 2014 at 17:01
  • @Bill: That's part of what I'd like to know.
    – slack
    Sep 15, 2014 at 17:57
  • It looks to me like there is only one partition, and sda7 is the mounted OS. Did you see the output of the df command? I'm wondering what is the /home/d/.Private line from df. That doesn't look right. Sep 15, 2014 at 19:06
  • The yellow text means it's a device file. I don't know who in their right mind would run chmod on this file, but I doubt that it screwed up your system. You basically made it executable; it should be rw-rw---- (660). Sep 15, 2014 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


your df -H shows that /dev/sda7 is mounted on / meaning that its your main operating system, you shouldn't make changes to files in /dev, nor can you ls /dev/sda7 because its a device file not a directory. you can use ls on the place that its mounted to though (ls /).

you can use this command to find the files taking up the most space

du -ah /directory/here | sort -h -r | head -n 10

explanation of this command:

du estimate file space usage

-ah tells du to write counts for all files, not just directories in human readable form (i.e: 1.5G)

/directory/here any directory here, for the whole partition you would use its mount point '/' (you may wanna just use your home folder though)

sort -h -r sorts through the output of du, -h means sort human readable numbers (so it sees that 1G is larger than 1MB) -r tells it to reverse sorting order, so now its highest to lowest and not lowest to highest.

head -n 10 only shows the top ten lines of sorts output, you can change 10 to any number you want if you want more/less lines or just remove this part if you want

you should always know what commands are going to do before using them, otherwise you could accidently break something or some other adverse effect.

i hope this helps.

  • Unless I'm sadly mistaken, I think this is not a good idea, and probably won't work at all. It seems to me that sda7 is his main system and only partition since df -H shows no other partitions. Sep 15, 2014 at 19:02
  • @MartyFried df only shows mounted partitions, fdisk -l will show all partitions. also thank you for pointing out its his main system, i didn't notice it was mounted to / Sep 15, 2014 at 19:15
  • Yes, my point was that it was the only mounted partition, so it had to be the system. Unmounted partitions are not really important in this case. Also, I believe it is OK for you to actually change your answer and delete inaccurate information as discovered, rather than adding an addendum at the end. Sep 15, 2014 at 19:26
  • @MartyFried + Radical Edward: THANK YOU, LIFELINES!
    – slack
    Sep 15, 2014 at 22:15

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