Urgent: filesystem "full", though space is available

David Kelly dkelly at hiwaay.net
Mon Mar 17 15:47:19 UTC 2008

On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 08:34:18AM -0700, Dr. Jennifer Nussbaum wrote:
> Hi, Ive got a big problem now on a production server.
> When i do various things, i am getting "write failed, file system full"
> messages all over the place. Ive gone through and deleted
> things i can, and i should have the space now, but its just
> not available:

Deleted files only disappear from the directory listings. File space is
not freed until the last process closes the open file.

A programming "trick" is to create/open temporary file(s) when program
is launched then unlink (delete) the file(s) while they are still open.
As long as one has an open file handle the files are perfectly usable.
When program terminates normally or by exception, the OS cleans up and
no mess is left.

> $ df -m
> Filesystem  1M-blocks Used Avail Capacity  Mounted on
> /dev/da0s1a      2015 1858    -3   100%    /
> /dev/da0s1e     14061 9002  3933    70%    /usr/local
> procfs              0    0     0   100%    /proc
> I dont know what kind of math lets you do 2015-1858 and gives
> you an answer of -3!

There is an 8% reserve that only root can eat into. You are 3 MB into
your 8% reserve. This is BSD Unix 101.

> I have softupdates, or whatever, but i dont know how to get 
> it to release this space. I cant reboot the running server.
> I am planning on adding a disc to this system but right now
> i need to get this space released ASAP! Can anyone help?

A reboot is the fastest way to close open files and release their space.

David Kelly N4HHE, dkelly at HiWAAY.net
Whom computers would destroy, they must first drive mad.

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