Disk Space issue

I’ve had a serious problem today in opensuse 11.1 64-bit (KDE 3.5).

My hard disk was “full”, although I had deleted some big files. Turned out that the .Trash folder had all of these in it and I couldn’t get rid of them…until I logged in as root and deleted them through the console window.

Problem is solved - but how do I stop it happening again?

To happen what again?

  1. creating files until your partition is full? Then do not do this or buy another disk (and even a terabyte disk can be filled by a greedy user);
  2. moving them to the trash-bin directory (that may be on another partition that is not even big enough for them)? Do not use the GUI related “move to trash-bin”, but use e.g. the CLI command rm.

And yes, *root *may come to the rescue of the end-user. There is some space reserved for root on the filesystem so *root *does still have some leeway.

What I want to stop happening again is my disk to become full because of deleted files, i.e. ones I want rid of. I know now that I can go in and delete these files as root, but I would have thought that a reboot would have cleared them out of .Trash.

> but how do I stop it happening again?

  • empty the trash before the disk is full
  • allocate more space to the system
  • get a bigger hard drive
  • don’t download so much
  • don’t keep downloaded stuff that you don’t need to
  • buy or rent an online storage site to keep stuff which you can’t
    turn loose of, but can’t keep on your machine
  • need i continue?


monitor disk usage and free remaining space by clicking on “My Computer”

empty the trash, before the disk is full…

try: right click can, pick “Empty Trash Bin” or similar

in my opinion it is best to never fill the disk over (say) 80%
full…disks are cheap these days…


Press shift+delete to delete the files on the spot permanently.
Not a permanent solution, but is a solution.

A boot should never be a cure for something the end-user did or did not. A boot may clean /tmp, but that is something different.

The trash-bin is invented because a lot of people make errors deleting stuff. Naturaly when the end-user thinks he has still something in the trash-bin, this should NOT be emptied on a boot (planned but specialy not planned).

The feature is not only in the MS GUI (Windows), but is also part of many other GUIs like KDE and Gnome (apparently people coming from Windows do still remove stuff they shouldn’t, even in the enlightened world of Linux :wink: ). I suppose you are using some fiile manager when you move something to the trash-bin. So we hope this can be configured in your file manager.

I have openSUSE 10.3 and KDE3.5. The file manager is Konqueror. In the configuration GUI of Konqui there is a box which, when checked, adds a ‘remove’ option along with the ‘to trashbin’’ option in the context menu. Maybe you can find similar in your filebrowser.


OK, I’ve managed to resolve the issue by logging in as root and manually deleting the offending files (copies of disk images from VirtualBox).

My concern is that the command “Move to wastebasket”, followed by emptying the wastebasket, didn’t do what I expected, and I think that there might be a few people in similar situations.

I understand that there have been instances of people deleting files and then needing to recover them (I am one of those people), but I also understand that, by emptying the wastebasket, I’ve lost the files for good - and I expect to have freed up the disk space. That wasn’t the case here and that’s what caused the difficulty.

aescott wrote:
> OK, I’ve managed to resolve the issue by logging in as root and

never log into KDE or Gnome as root…always lon in as yourself, a
normal user, and become root as required…

read more here:


I do not quite understand you here. Either these were files of the end-user and then moving them to the wastbasket and emptying the wastebasket should work. Or they they were owned by *root *and then you can remove them from the command line with the *rm *command (as *root *via one of the methods already pointed out in the links provided by goldie). In the latter case there is no wastebasket, because there never should be a desktop environment for root.

And I also do not know any command “Move to wastebasket”. I know about *mv, *but the wastebasket has no particular function there.

aescott, are you running vbox as root? Don’t do this, add yourself to the vboxusers group.

There is no way to set a limit on the trash. It’s up to you to occasionally empty the trash. If you hit <SHIFT> + <DELETE> in the file manager, files will be deleted permanently, not moved to the trash. The rm command is similar.