How to free up space in rootfs on Arch Linux
Is your rootfs partition at 100% and causing you problems?
I’ve been hovering around 95%-100% for a few weeks now. Being at 95% is fine, but 100% can cause all kinds of problems. I was testing a form on my local web server and couldn’t do file uploads because “the disk was full.” I was writing code and my editor couldn’t save the file because “the disk was full.” Its frustrating because you have hundreds of free gigs where you’re saving the file, but because rootfs is full, you can’t!
I’ll start by showing you the output of df
$ df Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on rootfs 10209220 9625988 71164 100% / /dev 4055116 0 4055116 0% /dev run 4058036 252 4057784 1% /run /dev/sda3 10209220 9625988 71164 100% / shm 4058036 796 4057240 1% /dev/shm tmpfs 4058036 3160 4054876 1% /tmp /dev/sda1 99590 34166 60205 37% /boot /dev/sda4 449789792 23726068 403549860 6% /home
Not good, but its my own fault. I only allocated about 10g to /dev/sda3 when I setup the OS. I should I have predicted that I would need more.
The real solutions is to boot to a livecd and resize /dev/sda3. This can take a long time, break your grub install, and cause other headache inducing effects.
Here are some tricks I’ve picked up to get your rootfs down from the dreaded 100% to something you can actually work with.
Clear your pacman cache
When pacman downloads a package for you, it keeps a version in its cache (usually /var/cache/pacman/pkg). This is great if you ever want to downgrade a package, but its not necessary and it takes up space.
Clearing your cache is as easy as:
$ pacman -Sc
There are more complicated scripts on the net which do things like manage how mange revisions back to save packages for, but this is fine for now. Lets take a look at the difference that made
$ sudo df Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on rootfs 10209220 9303916 393236 96% /
Down to 96% already! This is all the difference in the world, now I can actually save this document I’m writing. Lets see how much further we can get this down.
Remove software you don’t use
Now might be a good time to remove unused software. I normally run a pretty tight system anyways, but I still found room to improve.
For example, I use Xfce as my Desktop Environment but I use Compiz as my Window Manager rather than xfwm4. This let me remove xfwm4 and xfwm4-themes and shed a few MBs. I originally installed both VirtualBox and VMware but I only use the latter. See you later Vbox!
Kill the orphans!
Or rather… remove orphaned packages. First do a pacman query -Q for all dependencies -d that are unrequired -t.
$ pacman -Qdt
If you have unrequired dependencies, why not remove them. This simple command with recursively remove all unrequired dependencies.
pacman -Rs $(pacman -Qtdq)
Where are we at?
$ df Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on rootfs 10209220 9090832 606320 94% /
Figure out what’s taking up space
Still not satisfied with the size of rootfs? Get down into the file structure and find out what’s taking up space. The arch wiki has a list of disk usage display programs. I’m personally a fan of ncdu (home page) (package details).
Have a suggestion of your own? Still having problems with your file system? Make a comment!