Used disk space mismatch with / folder size

Asked by vkshah2 on 2014-09-11

I have a ~42GB Disc partition on which I have installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

My /folder size is showing ~8.7 GB
However the used space is showing full ! The graphics launcher was not loading, so I cleared a 5GB file. After that the used space is showing up as 40.2 GB.

Ubuntu showed me a system error and asked me to report it, which I have done. But still can't figure out where all my space disappeared...

Screenshot here at

Question information

English Edit question
Ubuntu util-linux Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Last query:
Last reply:

What is the output of:

df -h; lsb_release -a; uname -a; df -i


If output is text, you don't need an image. Just copy and paste the text as an update.

You can see from your output that you have 6Gb available on /

Is this the issue?

vkshah2 (vkshah2) said : #4

Yes, that is the issue. I am not sure when this happened. Noticed it when I was trying to set up a virtual machine on VirtualBox. Ubuntu got hanged and I wasn't able to get the launcher until I made some space my moving a 5GB file to another folder. My original ubuntu terminal is not showing up, instead I am getting an XTerm terminal which isn't allowing me to copy text directly.

vkshah2 (vkshah2) said : #5

another partition*(not folder).

if you suspect the space is being taken up by $HOME you can run:

ls -A | while read x; do du -s "$x"; done | sort -nr

You can then see where your space is being used and cleanup

vkshah2 (vkshah2) said : #7

I have checked the total space of $HOME, it is around 6GB.
According to the ds the space free is only 6GB. Based on which my disk size= 6+6 = 12GB. But my disk partition is 42GB.

Command output of as per your command for $home and root at The media folder is showing the space of another partition. My Xterm doesn't copy so posting an image.

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #8

What is the output of

sudo du -hs --exclude=/dev --exclude=/proc --exclude=/sys /*

vkshah2 (vkshah2) said : #9

There is 30G in the /root folder, but I can't access it :/

9.7M /bin
62M /boot
4.0K /cdrom
14M /etc
5.2G /home
0 /initrd.img
0 /initrd.img.old
492M /lib
3.5M /lib32
4.0K /lib64
16K /lost+found
223G /media
4.0K /mnt
248M /opt
30G /root
1.4M /run
12M /sbin
4.0K /srv
1.8M /tmp
4.1G /usr
619M /var
0 /vmlinuz
0 /vmlinuz.old

if you run:

sudo -i
du -sh *

what is output?

Why are you saving things to /root anyway???

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #11

What is the output of

sudo ls -l /root
sudo du -hs /root/*

vkshah2 (vkshah2) said : #12

Hi, the root folder had Virtual Box VM folder inside it. I was trying to setup a prebuilt Oracle machine and had used sudo to start it.
Space is freed after I deleted those folders after changing file permissions.