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Date:      Mon, 13 Dec 2004 19:53:02 -0600
From:      Nikolas Britton <>
To:        "Kevin D. Kinsey, DaleCo, S.P." <>
Subject:   Re: Root directory filling up...
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <000001c4e052$8a046360$9900000a@ZGISH> <> <> <>

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Kevin D. Kinsey, DaleCo, S.P. wrote:

> Kiffin Gish wrote:
>> Nikolas Britton wrote:
>>> Kiffin Gish wrote:
>>>> I recently decided to dump windows and take a much deserved 
>>>> breather with
>>>> FreeBSD. So I installed 5.3 and was in for a real treat!
>>>> However, I created a /-directory with 4G and installed the complete 
>>>> ports
>>>> stuff from the CD. Now my root directory is almost filled up (after I
>>>> installed all the Gnome Desktop stuff).
>>>> I always do a make clean. Is there an easier way to only keep the 
>>>> ports
>>>> stuff that is 'really' required?
>>>> I noticed that there are tons of tarballs etc. in the 
>>>> /usr/ports/distfiles
>>>> directory. Is it safe to delete all of these?
>>>> Are there any other suggestions to keep my root directory from 
>>>> filling up?
>>> What do you mean / is filling up? the default during install is to make
>>> 5 partitions /, Swap, /tmp, /var, and /usr.
>>> See mine for example:
>>> Filesystem     Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
>>> /dev/ad0s1a    739M     64M    616M     9%    /
>>> devfs                1.0K    1.0K      0B   100%    /dev
>>> /dev/ad0s1e    739M     15M    665M     2%    /tmp
>>> /dev/ad0s1f     69G     25G     38G    40%    /usr
>>> /dev/ad0s1d    739M     59M    621M     9%    /var
>>> /dev/ad1s1      28G     24G    3.8G    86%    /mnt
>>> linprocfs          4.0K    4.0K      0B   100%    
>>> /usr/compat/linux/proc
>>> The most you should need for / is 128MB (I think that is default during
>>> install)
>>> please sent the output of these commands "df -h", "more /etc/fstab", 
>>> and
>>> "disklabel ad0s1"
>> bash-2.05b$ df -h
>> Filesystem     Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
>> /dev/ad0s4a    3.9G    2.5G    1.1G    70%    /
>> devfs          1.0K    1.0K      0B   100%    /dev
>> /dev/ad0s4d    7.4G    5.9M    6.8G     0%    /home
>> This was the recommended setup according to the book The Complete 
>> FreeBSD, but now I realize this is probably not the best choice.
>> bash-2.05b$ more /etc/fstab
>> # Device                Mountpoint      FStype  Options         
>> Dump    Pass#
>> /dev/ad0s4b             none            swap    sw              
>> 0       0
>> /dev/ad0s4a             /               ufs     rw              
>> 1       1
>> /dev/ad0s4d             /home           ufs     rw              
>> 2       2
>> /dev/acd0               /cdrom          cd9660  ro,noauto       
>> 0       0
>> su-2.05b# disklabel ad0s1
>> disklabel: /dev/ad0s1: no valid label found
> That would need to be `disklabel /dev/ad0s4`, then.
> As to the distfiles question, you can safely remove all
> of them as long as you don't mind downloading them
> again if, for some reason, something needs to be
> recompiled.
> Your real problem is that you've got /tmp (temporary
> disposable stuff, generally), /var/ (mail, logs, database
> storage, etc.) and /usr (programs, source, documents,
> the ports tree, the buildworld target directory, etc), all
> in your root partition, which is just barely big enough to
> hold all that stuff unless you do your housekeeping very
> regularly (and thoroughly).
> A possible hack, in case you don't wish to backup and
> reinstall, or learn about growfs(8), [which may be what
> Nick is getting at by asking for disklabel output]:
> Move some stuff to your /home partition, and then
> create symlinks to it from its original location.
> Some candidates:  /tmp, /var/log, /root/, /usr/ports,
> /usr/src, /usr/obj, /usr/local ...
> Now, I can't say which would be best; it depends
> on what's filling up so fast (probably /usr, if you've
> added X, or really many ports at all) and there might
> be some security or other issues I'm not aware of,
> but it's a valid strategy for at least the short term.
> So, let's say we wanted to move the ports tree and
> our source tree to /home.  As root:
> # cd /usr
> # mv ports /home/
> # mv src /home/
> # ln -s /home/ports ports
> # ln -s /home/src src
> Like I said, it's a hack, but it's an available one ;-)
> Another possibility, though it's possibly more
> nerve wracking, would be to do something like this:
> 1.  Drop to single user mode in console.
> 2.  Do something like this:
> change /etc/fstab from:
>    /dev/ad0s4d             /home           ufs     rw              
> 2       2
> to:
>    /dev/ad0s4d             /usr           ufs     rw              
> 2       2
> Then:
> #mkdir /home/home
> #mv /home/* /home/home/
>   (*note that this will give you one error message,
>    but should still work.)
> #mv /usr/* /home
> and then reboot.  After rebooting, you will need
> to make sure that it's possible to get to /usr/home by
> typing "cd /home", so another symlink would be required.
> Note that I said, this could be scary --- I don't foresee
> any potential problems, but if you've never had
> to recover from a fuzted command using only
> /bin/sh and the contents of /, it can be a hair-raising
> experience.
> Maybe Nick can chime in and say what he thinks;
> [or someone else --- maybe you should've asked the
> mailing list, instead of newbies]
> It might be that growfs isn't that difficult and it is,
> after all, designed for this purpose.
> HTH,
> Kevin Kinsey
No not really, I just thought the disklabel output might be useful to 
determine what partitions and slices are on the disk, maybe he's dual 
booting and has a DOS/NTFS partition on the drive etc.. The easiest 
thing you can do, if you don't have alot of important data on it or can 
easily back it up, is use this as a learning experience and do a 
complete reinstall. When you get to the disklabel part when reinstalling 
use A for autodefaults. 
Else, I would buy a new hard drive, $50 will get you a 40GB hard drive 
online, reinstall freebsd (minimal install) using the recommended disk 
layout from the freebsd handbook (or autodefaults) and then mount the 
old drive and restore it onto the new one, or something to that effect.

What edition of The Complete FreeBSD do you have? I find it hard to 
believe that greg would advice against using the handbook's 
recommendations but then I've never read his book, I got Absolute BSD 
(Michael Lucas) last year for Christmas, and may just be taking this out 
of context.

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