pwd.db too big for / partition

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Mon Mar 19 17:39:21 UTC 2007

On Mar 19, 2007, at 7:54 AM, Marcelo Maraboli wrote:
> my / partition has only 73.196 Mbytes available and since I
> have 22.000 users, I now cannot change anyone´s password..
> root at server:~$ passwd marcelo.maraboli
> Changing local password for marcelo.maraboli
> New Password:
> Retype New Password:
> /: write failed, filesystem is full
> pwd_mkdb: write old: No space left on device
> passwd: pam_chauthtok(): error in service module
> How can I rezise the "/" partition or move the spwb.db
> and pwd.db files to another partition ?? (each of them is 44 Mbytes)

You certainly don't want to move the password files out of /etc--  
you'll render the machine unbootable as it needs to find them on the  
root partition.  The only approach I see which is likely to be  
workable would be to backup the system, repartition the disks with a  
larger root partition, and restore from backups.

However, in theory, if you had free disk space, you could use growfs  
to expand the root partition without repartitioning, but I am dubious  
about using that command against /.


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