Disk space

Asked by rapper on 2010-04-25

My computer has Windows Vista as original system on C: drive and I had windows XP on D: drive and was dual booting in order to run some pre-vista software. Then there was a Vista update that changed a dll file and I could no longer dual boot. So I took the opportunity to delete all XP stuff from Disk D: and install Ubuntu on Disk D: . Disks C: and D: are both on the 250 GB Master Hard drive, and there is an older 80 GB slave hard drive that I only use for backups

The first problem I have encountered is Disk space on D: This partition has 64GB space, but Ubuntu thinks there is no free space so it won't even run an update.

I have found the df command in the terminal window and it lists I have only used 14.4 GB of the 64.3 GB available, so why the bomb out with insufficient space? THe only thing that sticks out is the first line of the window:-
rap@ubuntu:~$ df
Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/loop0 2765720 2555624 69604 98% /
udev 1028800 284 1028516 1% /dev
none 1028800 148 1028652 1% /dev/shm
none 1028800 92 1028708 1% /var/run
none 1028800 0 1028800 0% /var/lock
none 1028800 0 1028800 0% /lib/init/rw
/dev/sda1 64689080 12768612 51920468 20% /host

Where arethe "1K- blocks " showmn in the second column allocated and can they be changed? it seems the problem comes from the first line:-
/dev/loop0 2765720 2555624 69604 98% /

Can someone help me with this one? TY

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Maxim Petrov (maximpetrov) said : #1

You get this output of "df" when boot from LiveCD? It is strange that /dev/loop0 is mounted on /

rapper (rap-spin) said : #2

Hi Maxim Petrov, TY for your help -
The df output is when booted from drive D: , It is my only boot method so far.
I don't have a CD - I installed Ubuntu yesterday, downloaded direct from the net

Maxim Petrov (maximpetrov) said : #3

show /etc/fstab

rapper (rap-spin) said : #4

ran show /etc/fstab, got all the following but show still not installed

rap@ubuntu:~$ df
Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/loop0 2765720 2555624 69604 98% /
udev 1028800 284 1028516 1% /dev
none 1028800 148 1028652 1% /dev/shm
none 1028800 92 1028708 1% /var/run
none 1028800 0 1028800 0% /var/lock
none 1028800 0 1028800 0% /lib/init/rw
/dev/sda1 64689080 12768612 51920468 20% /host
rap@ubuntu:~$ show /etc/fstab
The program 'show' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install nmh
show: command not found
rap@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install nmh
[sudo] password for rap:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
  citadel-common citadel-mta citadel-server db4.6-util libcitadel2 libdb4.6
  libsieve2-1 metamail sharutils
Suggested packages:
  exmh mh-e mh-book mailx
Recommended packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  citadel-common citadel-mta citadel-server db4.6-util libcitadel2 libdb4.6
  libsieve2-1 metamail nmh sharutils
0 upgraded, 10 newly installed, 0 to remove and 253 not upgraded.
Need to get 4,020kB of archives.
After this operation, 12.8MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
Get:1 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/main libdb4.6 4.6.21-13ubuntu2 [592kB]
Get:2 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/universe db4.6-util 4.6.21-13ubuntu2 [117kB]
Get:3 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/universe libsieve2-1 2.2.6-1 [81.9kB]
Get:4 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/universe metamail 2.7-54 [163kB]
Get:5 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/universe nmh 1.3-1 [2,482kB]
Get:6 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/main sharutils 1:4.6.3-1build2 [111kB]
Get:7 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/universe citadel-common 7.51-1 [9,758B]
Get:8 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/universe libcitadel2 7.51-1 [59.2kB]
Get:9 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/universe citadel-server 7.51-1 [393kB]
Get:10 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com karmic/universe citadel-mta 7.51-1 [9,988B]
Fetched 4,020kB in 27s (146kB/s)
Preconfiguring packages ...
Selecting previously deselected package libdb4.6.
(Reading database ... 116188 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking libdb4.6 (from .../libdb4.6_4.6.21-13ubuntu2_amd64.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package db4.6-util.
Unpacking db4.6-util (from .../db4.6-util_4.6.21-13ubuntu2_amd64.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libsieve2-1.
Unpacking libsieve2-1 (from .../libsieve2-1_2.2.6-1_amd64.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package metamail.
Unpacking metamail (from .../metamail_2.7-54_amd64.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package nmh.
Unpacking nmh (from .../archives/nmh_1.3-1_amd64.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package sharutils.
Unpacking sharutils (from .../sharutils_1%3a4.6.3-1build2_amd64.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package citadel-common.
Unpacking citadel-common (from .../citadel-common_7.51-1_all.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libcitadel2.
Unpacking libcitadel2 (from .../libcitadel2_7.51-1_amd64.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package citadel-server.
Unpacking citadel-server (from .../citadel-server_7.51-1_amd64.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package citadel-mta.
Unpacking citadel-mta (from .../citadel-mta_7.51-1_amd64.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Processing triggers for install-info ...
Processing triggers for sreadahead ...
sreadahead will be reprofiled on next reboot
Setting up libdb4.6 (4.6.21-13ubuntu2) ...
Setting up db4.6-util (4.6.21-13ubuntu2) ...
Setting up libsieve2-1 (2.2.6-1) ...

Setting up metamail (2.7-54) ...

Setting up nmh (1.3-1) ...
Setting up sharutils (1:4.6.3-1build2) ...
Ignoring install-info called from maintainer script
The package sharutils should be rebuild with new debhelper to get trigger support

Setting up citadel-common (7.51-1) ...
Adding group `citadel' (GID 121) ...
Adding system user `citadel' (UID 113) ...
Adding new user `citadel' (UID 113) with group `citadel' ...
Not creating home directory `/var/lib/citadel'.

Setting up libcitadel2 (7.51-1) ...

Setting up citadel-server (7.51-1) ...
applying your settings.
no /etc/aliases found.
sendcommand: started (pid=2833) running in citadel
Attaching to server...
ubuntu Citadel server ready.
Authenticated as an internal program.
231 Shutting down server. Goodbye.
sendcommand: processing ended.

Setting up citadel-mta (7.51-1) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin ...
ldconfig deferred processing now taking place

Tom (tom6) said : #5

Hi :)

I think the problem is that you have installed Ubuntu inside Windows using the Wubi installer. This is good for a demo of ubuntu but not for a long-term install. Windows does not like co-operating with rival OSs and tries to make things difficult. With Ubuntu reliant on Windows co-operation there are inevitably going to be problems!

Please move the Wubi install onto a proper linux partition using part8 of section 8 in this guide

Good luck and regards from
Tom :

Maxim Petrov (maximpetrov) said : #6

show - not a command) open file /etc/fstab and copy it's content here

rapper (rap-spin) said : #7

Hi Tom,

TY - I will give that a go on the next attempt. Right now I have to finish up.

TY for yr advice

An alternative to Tom's suggestion, if you don't already have a lot configured in the Ubuntu system (if you just installed it), is just to reboot from the LiveCD and choose to install again. It may be simpler.

Take a backup of anything on your system you care about and check the labels of the partitions when booted in Vista first to make sure you don't mistakenly overwrite the OS which you want to keep.

Don't follow the Wubi install this time. During the install you'll be asked to choose which partition to put Ubuntu on. Choose the partition label which had Windows XP on it, if you are sure there is nothing there you want to keep.

Alternatively, if you're a bit technical and want to reinstall and repartition manually, choose the Manual option when it asks how you want Ubuntu installed alongside Windows, remove the Windows XP partition and create a small SWAP partition which is about twice the size of your system memory (e.g. about 4 Gig), and fill the remainder of the space with an EXT4 partition mounted at /

Once you've decided which partitions to put Ubuntu on, the rest should be straightforward and you'll have a shiny new Ubuntu installation, which you can boot as an alternative to Vista.

Tom (tom6) said : #9

Hi :)

Yes, the easiest way is a fresh re-install. So, buy a small pack of the cheapest possible blank Cds you can easily find. These work much better for making bootable Cds. I think more expensive ones are optimised for data-storage which seems quite different.

Some people have found it easier to make a Cd of a tiny distro called sliTaz and then use that to make the Ubuntu Cd in cases where their Windows Cd making software didn't work very well.

Then run a LiveCd session, this works pretty much the same in sliTaz too although with sliTaz you can take the Cd out of the cd/dvd-drive once you get to the LiveCd desktop

Install a proper dual-boot system straight from the LiveCd desktop

Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

rapper (rap-spin) said : #10

Hi Tom, Cefn, and Maxim Petrov,

Thanks to your advice I have got past the first hurdle by scrapping the current Ubuntu Installation and:-
a) downloading the ubuntu ISO file from the net
b) downloading ISO recorder V3 and installing it
c) burning an installation CD
d) running the installation CD BUT ! I had to do this from inside windows Vista - the CD would not self boot and run the Ubuntu installation from a re-boot.even though the CD is listed as the first on the boot-up sequence.
Tom - I had a look ak at "part8 of section 8 in this guide
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WubiGuide" but I might have to store that info until I find my way around here a bit better.

Maybe later I will have a punt at the other suggestion:-
"Some people have found it easier to make a Cd of a tiny distro called sliTaz and then use that to make the Ubuntu Cd in cases where their Windows Cd making software didn't work very well.

I will remain aware that installing from inside Vista is probably ratshit but will stick here for a while and see what further trouble I can get into while I learn a bit more about Ubuntu.

Many thanks to you all ! Your time and advice is really helpful and appreciated.


(Don't go away,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,)


Tom (tom6) said : #11

Hi :)

We are still here and you can post new questions using this link

That is odd about the Ubuntu Cd not booting from your cd/dvd-drive even when selected in the bios! Perhaps you could try making a sliTaz Cd and see if that works as a LiveCd?

Please let us know :)
Regards from
Tom :)

rapper (rap-spin) said : #12

Hi Tom,
Not sure if this finds you after it is listed as "solved". but:-

I have made a SliTaz CD as you suggested and it self starts OK - after I found out that it would not self start in the second CD drive . So I then stuck the Ubuntu CD in the same drive and it starts OK as well - it seems the bios only looks at one CD drive before booting from the hard disk.

OK - so now I have sent my second attempt at installing ubuntu to cyber heaven and had a third go - bearing in mind your comment that there could be problems if installing ubuntu from inside windows. I reckoned it might be smart to take your advice on that and do another install.

Now comes a big query - when I try to install it by booting from the CD - I get the message that there is no operating system on this computer. BUT ! there actually is Vista on it.

So I cross fingers and go for the next step - hoping that I will be able to select a particular partition ( in this case D: ) to install to - but it wants to stick it all over the show like a mad woman's breakfast. At this point I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and pulled the plug.

I got off lightly just losing the boot manager and the Vista installation disk was pulled out of retirement for a quick repair job. All back on stream now - except how am I supposed to stick Ubuntu on from the CD without losing Vista?

I must be missing something. Probably a couple of brain cells. There must be a couple of million users who have done this.

Tom (tom6) said : #13

Hi :)

Partitioning Section 3rd or 4th options. NOT the default!! This is crucial. The default option is to wipe the drive & devote it all to Ubuntu. I keep complaining about this every-so-often because there is another option to keep the existing OSs & automatically divide up the drive to stick Ubuntu on its own space at the end. Not quite perfect but excellent nevertheless.

The first step is always to boot up a LiveCd session of the linux you want to install. This check various things work easily
If not then you sometimes need to use "boot options" which are easiest to find out & try out from the LiveCd which makes it clear what to add to an install. Sometimes it becomes obvious that a lot more work is going to be needed at which point i tend to give-up & try a different version of linux (different "distro", such as Mandriva, Fedora, openSUSE, sliTaz). Invariably one will work easily. I think Ubuntu works on the biggest range of machines.

So, from a LiveCd's working desktop try the installer there. This means you still have access to all the usual ubuntu tools and hopefully can also access the internet using Firefox. Possibly more importantly it means you can play a few games while waiting.

To dual-boot with Vista properly this guide should help
Note there is a LOT of stuff in that guide to cover a LOT of different situations. Most of it can be safely ignored or just skimmed through very fast. As stated before the crucial section is the Partitioning Section, do not go for the default option on that page!

Vista pre-ServicePack2 can be unusually troublesome compared to most Windows so i would really want to do this using "Manual" or Advanced" partitioning, the last option on that Partitioning Section page. Before starting on this i would boot into Vista to shrink the Vista partition from there. It sounds mad & crazy but Vista used to prefer resizing the partition it was currently running from rather than use a safer method!

Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Tom: I think the default option is to resize the Windows partition and dual boot with it – if Windows is found.

rapper: If the installer has trouble finding Windows, start Ubuntu in Live mode (testing from the CD) and go to Administration → GParted. Then resize the Vista partition so there is empty space for an Ubuntu partition. Then you can continue installing Ubuntu from the live session.

If the Vista partition is still not found, open GParted and actually create a partition from the free space. Then try again.

I hope that works. :)

Best Tom (tom6) said : #15

Hi :)

Sorry about my last post! I was trying to follow some advice but ended up just getting things jumbled chaotically!

First try a LiveCd session of Ubuntu, just to check its happy enough with the machine and that you are happy enough with the way it runs without a layer of Windows in the way.

Ok? To dual boot with Vista i would start by booting into Vista. If possible back-up all the crucial data you can easily find onto another drive. Do all the usual disk defrags, scan disk & general de-cluttering. I probably wouldn't bother with a virus scan as this can be done faster from Linux later. The defrag is probably the most important thing.

Right-click on "My Computer" and check the general tab to see how much Ram Vista thinks you have. Ubuntu is happy with anything over 1Gb of Ram. For hard-drive space Ubuntu is going to need about 20Gb although it can handle just 10Gb but it is also going to need about 2xRam for a separate "Swap" partition. Vista ideally needs about 30Gb or more but can handle just 20Gb, at least according to this guide

It is often recommended that you do the resizing of Vista inside Vista
Settings - Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Storage - Disk Management
Just to reduce the size of the Vista partition, not to create anything for Ubuntu as the tools in Ubuntu are better for that :)

How much room?
I would tend to make sure Windows has plenty of space. It can't read Ubuntu data on linux partitions. Ubuntu can happily read & write data on Windows partitions in a way that Windows can read :) So generally i would give most of the space to Windows and just give Ubuntu only just enough elbow-room to feel comfortable.

Once you have shrunk Vista to make enough room for Ubuntu please reboot back into Vista again. It's the usual Windows story of needing to reboot to get settled in. This will force a chkdsk which will help avoid the chance of Vista freaking out later.

Ok? So now to reboot into the LiveCd. I generally prepare the partitions in advance of using the installer. You can find out how much ram Ubuntu thinks you have by getting to a command-line and typing

free -m

I would then arrange the partitions using gparted

System - Administration - Partition Editor

to make them something like this (sizes are approximate)

sda1 Windows = no change
sda2 Primary Partition 5Gb file-system = ext3
sda3 Primary Partition 2x"Ram size", file-system = linux-swap
sda4 Extended Partition, a bucket for holding other partitions because drives are only allowed to have 4 primary partitions when you need to be able to use Windows (or 3 & 1 extended partition)
 . sda5 Logical Partition 10Gb file-system = ext3 this is the partition that could be anything from 5Gb to 15Gb fairly comfortably. It is going to be where all your data & settings will be. We call this the /home partition.

Regards from
Tom :)

Tom (tom6) said : #16

Hi again :)

Vista can really be problematic if re-sized from outside itself. I think Service Pack 2 fixed the problem. I wouldn't take any chances! It's easy enough to do the shrinking inside Vista

Regards from
Tom :)

Tom (tom6) said : #17

HI :)

Ok, so now everything is ready for the actual install at last! The installer on the desktop of the LiveCd is usually best for me.

When you get to the Partitioning Section choose the very bottom option "Advanced" or "Manual" partitioning. This should show the partitions you have already prepared although you could create (or delete) them in here. It's just not so easy in here.

Right-click on the 5Gb partition and "Edit" or "Change" it to set its "Mount Point" to / Then right-click the one we called /home and set it's "Mount Point" to "/home" (predictably, sorry). The linux-swap partition doesn't need a "Mount Point" because that is sorted automatically.

Hopefully this should all work completely fine!
Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

rapper (rap-spin) said : #18

Hi Tom !
Sorry about the delay - they just let me out of the padded cell,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you were right about problems with Windows if you stuff around with the partitions from outside of windows - I have just finished reformatting and re-loading Vista, all applications, data etc.

The problem was with the way I had organised my hard drive originally. I had it set up to dual boot XP / Vista, and to do this I had to dump Vista and load XP first for some reason which I now forget. So naturally I kept the XP partition small, then stuck in the Vista partition, then the Vista data partition, ( using the first three primaries) then used the the remaining disk space, the fourth primary, as an extended partition for (the majority) for the XP data and a couple of others for odd stuff. No matter what I did, I could not shuffle the free space into the extended partition where it was now needed using Vista disk management, so I decided to try the Geparted in Ubuntu, which left me in shitter's ditch.

Two days later, after booting (live Ubuntu CD ) I set up the h/drive as you suggested (using Geparted), then reinstalled Vista, then installed Ubuntu from the CD.

The Ubuntu installation went fine, and now all I have to do is learn to run it.

Hope the above helps other poor sods that happened to have their h/drives set up like mine for XP/Vista before installing Linux.

As a matter of interest - when I look at the partitions using Linux, the extended partition (sda4) does not show up - it just shows sda5 and sda6 ---- that seems reasonable, but is that what normally happens? The extended 'bucket' partition itself does not show, just the contained partitions?

I have not found out how to get Linux to actually run an executable program yet - but I will keep reading.

I actually enrolled in U3A for their Linux course, but as soon as I paid up they cancelled it for want of starters. Buggar.

Anyway - multi thanks for your time and help - also thanks to Jan-Christoph, which just happens to rhyme with how I have been for the past two days.


rapper (rap-spin) said : #19

Thanks Tom, that solved my question.

Tom (tom6) said : #20

Hi :)

You have installed the Desktop Edition tho? Not the Server Edition that only has a command-line? With the desktop edition just try double-clicking things to see what opens them. Perhaps dig around the "Applications" menu on the top taskbar to see what programs are already included. Tweak some desktop effects and stuff through the "Systems" menu and find out where all your data & stuff is using the "Places" menu. Once you have it installed it really is not very difficult! lol

With the fresh install of Ubuntu you really need to work through the Medibuntu page to sort multimedia in one easy session

Linux has its own programs and it's well worth looking for linux alternatives rather than running any Windows programs. One of the first things is usually to try to find a decent flash-player so go up to the top taskbar and click on

System - Administration - "Synaptic Package Manager"

now use either search tool to look for "flash player". I prefer the search button but i think both look through package descriptions as well as titles so it allows us to be a bit vague. There should be a good one called something like "flashplugin-nonfree".

Note that the package managers such as synaptic & "Ubuntu Software Centre" all use the same lists of what is on your machine and search around the same sites to see what else can be installed.

Since linux distros keep almost all available software in "repositories" together it is easier to ensure they are kept free from any malware. There's no need to scout off around the internet looking up sites you may only ever go to once for any machine.

The package managers do all the job of finding, installing and updating ALL the programs and stuff on your machine. Where Windows only updates core functions and only ever seems to have "Security updates" you will find most Linux updates are about increasing functionality and everything gets updated to the latest versions; drivers, codecs, everything.

This guide might help you adapt to the radically different world of linux!

I didn't like the button in 10.04 being on the Mac side rather than the Windows side so i copy&pasted this into the command-line

gconftool-2 --set "/apps/metacity/general/button_layout" --type string "menu:minimize,maximize,close"

Now i don't know how to put them back on the 'wrong' side lol
Good luck and have fun
Regards from
Tom :)

Tom (tom6) said : #21

Hi :)

Yes, all the guides i have read about multi-booting Windows say that you have to start with the oldest version you are going to keep and then add newer Windows later on the drive. This seems contra-intuitive to me. Given that read/write speeds are faster on the outside of the drive this gives the older versions the "best seats in the house".

Also there seems to be a suggestion that Xp "really needs" 20Gb, Vista & Win7 "need" 30Gb but again this is a bit mystifying since i can usually strip an Xp right down into very much less. I do appreciate that Windows performance almost completely dies off if the 'drive' is over 80% full but even so it just doesn't make any good sense to me.

If i ever have to re-install a Windows ever again i think i will find myself facing 2 alternatives
1. Shoot the person asking me. Yes, time might be worth it.
2. Install inside a virtual machine inside a linux distro so the Windows can't do any lasting damage.

When you look at the graphic in GPartEd the Extended Partition is shown as a very pale light blue, just kinda a halo around the partitions and unallocated space inside. If you look at the text & figures in the lower half of GPartEd then it's much easier to see it.

You could also try this command-line errr command

sudo fdisk -l

where "-l" is a lower-case "-L". Sudo asks for your normal user password and doesn't give you any stars as you type. Also on the command-line you could directly access the tools that GPartEd (=Gnome Partition Editor, for the gnome desktop. Guess what the one for the KDE desktop is called?)

sudo parted

this puts you on a very dangerous command-line. The PartEd command-line can easily wipe a lot of data very fast! It does take a long time to appear because it has to scan all the partitions of all your drives first. Just as GPartEd does when it opens. Note there are 2 very useful commands in PartEd "help" shows you the available commands, and "quit" puts you back onto a nice safe normal linux command-line. "Help" also works on the linux command-line btw :)

Congrats & regards again from
Tom :)