How to get more partition space, upgrade hardy to intrepid claims 1.4G of disk space

Asked by el es on 2009-04-04

System info :
Description: Ubuntu 8.04.2
Release: 8.04

Summary :
While trying to upgrade from Hardy to Intrepid, the upgrade process terminates, stating it needs 1.4 GiB free disk space; There is 1.1+GiB free according to gnome-system-monitor on / :

lukasz@lukasz-laptop:~$ df -h
filesystem size used available %usage mount point
/dev/sda6 5,1G 3,7G 1,2G 76% /
varrun 252M 220K 251M 1% /var/run
varlock 252M 0 252M 0% /var/lock
udev 252M 64K 252M 1% /dev
devshm 252M 212K 251M 1% /dev/shm
lrm 252M 39M 213M 16% /lib/modules/2.6.24-22-generic/volatile
/dev/sda1 2,5G 2,0G 540M 79% /media/hda1
/dev/sda2 36G 35G 1,5G 96% /media/hda2
/dev/sda5 31G 31G 512M 99% /media/hda5

(gnome-system-monitor says there is 1.4 G free space on /, but 1.2G usable - I know that there is some space reserved for root, that accounts for the difference, that's OK)

Before I undertook a major cleansweep operation, I only had 600MiB free space on /, with the upgrade process then claiming it needs 937 (literally) MiB free space.

The upgrade option is showing in update-manager because I have set the relevant option in Synaptic.

The upgrade process either way terminates neatly with no damage done to the system.


It is this laptop :
manufacturer's layout of disk mostly unchanged, only thing different is the /dev/sda5 has been resized down by 6GB to make space for Linux and swap :)

Hence my partition layout is kinda dodgy, I admit :

(sudo fdisk -l)
Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xdeadbeef

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 319 2562336 12 Compaq diagnostics
/dev/sda2 * 320 5014 37712587+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda3 5015 9729 37873237+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5 5015 8997 31993416 b W95 FAT32
/dev/sda6 8998 9666 5373711 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 9667 9729 506016 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Why I wanted to try to upgrade to Intrepid?; maybe I'm being adventurous; but there has been some changes to drivers since 2.6.24 (the drivers I am concerned for are b43 and em28xx-new - the latter from its creators' site, as it is out-of-tree), which I'd like to try out. Also my graphic card could benefit from the refreshed drivers (ATI Mobility Radeon X700 / RV410).


Question information

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Ubuntu update-manager Edit question
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Solved by:
el es
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Last reply:
el es (el-es-poczta) said : #1

I want to know if I can perform upgrade to Intrepid, would it work if I download the ISO CD image and mount it with -o loop, would it be recognized as package source and let me circumvent the space limitations.

Craig Huffstetler (xq) said : #2

Before performing the upgrade can you "clean" your system of non-used, no longer needed or even non-essential applications and/or daemons that may be taking up space? This will help. You can use Synaptic. I know this is not the exact answer you're looking for, but I believe it's the best method. You can always add the "non essential" back in later. 300MB isn't much and you can target the large applications in Synaptic.

Now, directly to your question. It would only recognize it in so far as another package source. It would use the current version of the packages on the CD. These could be smaller than those that exist in the net's repos.

Also, upgrade-manager will never let you circumvent the space limitations while /current/ packages on your system need to be updated. That's the main issue and what brought me to the above paragraph.

el es (el-es-poczta) said : #3

Well currently I haven't really got much installed - and by the way I already did some cleansweep - the question is really, why did the update manager first claim for 937 MB to be enough, then changed its mind and claims 1.4G - will it change its mind again ...? And what is currently the minimum disk space needed to perform distro upgrade ?
el es

Craig Huffstetler (xq) said : #4

Another suggestion is removing some of the repositories and doing a:

sudo apt-get update


I believe it gave you the information before all of the repo updates were complete. I've had this happen on multiple occasions to myself simply due to the fact that update-manager loves to give you information right when it's available -- not necessarily when ALL updates are in.

I.E. right when you open it, updates may show immediately. Update-manager will finish comparing your system packages/dependencies and it will find more packages needed in the upgrade process. It's really not a perfect application, tbh. However, this is a needed process unless you want to break dependencies or packages in upgrading.

The actual distro-upgrade size will vary widely depending on the packages you have installed on your system. Again, I know this is not the answer you want to hear -- but it's absolutely true. Everything is relative in conjunction with the upgrade process.

What would NOT be relative is a completely new system install. Have you considered a separate /home partition? If you had a separate /home partition you would save most of your preferences and personal data.

Or you could just start fresh with a new install (rather than an upgrade). You can back your /home (make sure to include HIDDEN folders) by copying it to a USB drive or another partition, then move it back over. This also may be the best case scenario for you and relatively painless. It would also save your preferences and your personal files.

During the new installation you could create a /home partition as well. :-)



Craig Huffstetler (xq) said : #5

And you should have plenty of space to do the install and even create a /home partition for the future.

Bare-bone requirements for Intrepid Ibex:
At least 4 GB of disk space (for full installation and swap space)

The good thing is you already have their "default" swap space covered, which brings this down to about 3GB of disk space. So, basically, you do have space to play with if you do decide to take my last recommendation.

Please copy and paste the result of this terminal command:

dpkg -l | grep -i ^ii | grep -i linux-image | cut -d' ' -f 3

and the result of:

uname -a

Thank you

el es (el-es-poczta) said : #7

The first command produces


the second

Linux lukasz-laptop 2.6.24-22-generic #1 SMP Mon Nov 24 18:32:42 UTC 2008 i686 GNU/Linux


Ok i was trying to see if you have a lot of old kernels to unistall to claim free space...
So now please to clean your laready cached packages form terminal type:

To see actual space:
df -h

To clean:
sudo apt-get clean

To recheck and see space gain:
df -h

If you have good space, now retry tu upgrade or if you still don't have good amount of free space:

- you can temporary move some of your home contents to a memory pen


- booting your pc from the Ubuntu live cd, using the menu System → Administration → Partition Editor, you can resize the ext3 (and the FAT32 partitions)

Hope this helps

el es (el-es-poczta) said : #9

before cleanup :
/dev/sda6 5,1G 3,7G 1,2G 77% /
varrun 252M 216K 251M 1% /var/run
varlock 252M 0 252M 0% /var/lock
udev 252M 80K 252M 1% /dev
devshm 252M 168K 251M 1% /dev/shm
lrm 252M 39M 213M 16% /lib/modules/2.6.24-22-generic/volatile
/dev/sda1 2,5G 2,0G 540M 79% /media/hda1
/dev/sda2 36G 35G 1,5G 96% /media/hda2
/dev/sda5 31G 31G 0 100% /media/hda5

after :
/dev/sda6 5,1G 3,7G 1,2G 77% /
varrun 252M 216K 251M 1% /var/run
varlock 252M 0 252M 0% /var/lock
udev 252M 80K 252M 1% /dev
devshm 252M 168K 251M 1% /dev/shm
lrm 252M 39M 213M 16% /lib/modules/2.6.24-22-generic/volatile
/dev/sda1 2,5G 2,0G 540M 79% /media/hda1
/dev/sda2 36G 35G 1,5G 96% /media/hda2
/dev/sda5 31G 31G 0 100% /media/hda5

So the only way seems to be moving some /home stuff.
Thanks anyway.
I'll mark this answered, tough you didn't notice something :
the update manager, when there was under 937MB left, claimed it needs just that much; When I freed up to 1.2GB, it now says it needs 1.4 G.

And no, I wasn't dreaming :)
Thanks anyway,
el es

el es (el-es-poczta) said : #10

Also as my hardware is slowly giving up (the screen resolution has magically decreased, the optical drive went broke probably with my 2yrs old son fingers ;) ) I will just stick to what I have, hoping I'll be able to get a new machine before this one dies.

Craig Huffstetler (xq) said : #11

I'm sorry we couldn't solve it more easily. It sounds like a bug be filed against update-manager.