Incorrect disk usage size

Ulf Zimmermann ulf at
Wed Jan 7 21:22:40 UTC 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext3-users-bounces at [mailto:ext3-users-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Bruno Wolff III
> Sent: 01/07/2009 13:19
> To: Adam Flott
> Cc: ext3-users at
> Subject: Re: Incorrect disk usage size
> On Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 18:37:41 -0600,
>   Adam Flott <adam at> wrote:
> > After an aptitude safe-upgrade of Debian's testing (as of today) my
> root file
> > system (ext3) seems to have "filled up" and I'm not sure how to get
> Linux to
> > correctly report the used size.
> Are you aware that there is space in file systems reserved for use
> by
> root? That may explain your confusion.
> The purpose of the reserve is to allow a sysadm to allow some things
> keep
> working even if a normal user fills up a file system.
> The size of the reserve on ext2/3 file systems can be changed with
> tune2fs.

Your problem is probably files in /var, not necessary over 1GB in size.
I don't know where Debian saves packages downloaded via apt, but yum for
example has a /var/cache/yum and you can run "yum clean packages". I
would expect apt to have something similar.

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