Phantom /var full messages

Sergey Zaharchenko doublef at
Fri Sep 10 08:43:10 PDT 2004

On Fri, Sep 10, 2004 at 11:23:11AM -0400,
 Jerry McAllister probably wrote:
> No, you are running out of space!   DF has nothing to do with it.
> If one of the processes grabs some file space and then unlinks, it
> is still holding/using that space and probably needs it, even if 
> one method (df) shows it used and another (du) does not.   Don't be 
> fooled by the red herring of du and df disagreeing.  Some process is 
> trying to use that space and you need more of it.   

Correct. du can only show the `named' space (the size of files which are
not unlinked-but-open).

One of the ways to find out what has the largest files open is

# fstat | grep /var | sort -r -n -k 8 | head

(gives you the `top ten list' of the largest open files and the
processes which use them).

If the problem is in a program holding lots of small files open, then a
different script (utilizing uniq -c) could be devised.

> If you are doing database stuff, then I can't imagine having a /var
> of less than a few GB, unless you move a lot of stuff out of /var and
> create links.   See some recent previous posts on the subject.

31GB is `a few GB' in some sense.

> ////jerry
> > 
> > Paul Schmehl (pauls at
> > Adjunct Information Security Officer
> > The University of Texas at Dallas
> > AVIEN Founding Member
> >
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Madam, there's no such thing as a tough child -- if you parboil them
first for seven hours, they always come out tender.
		-- W. C. Fields
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