/root is full and system does not start

hi all i was installiing octave and tex live but they did not installed correctly then i removed them from terminal and again i started the system, kde was griving crash report and said there was no space in /tmp well how tackle that and here is df -h output

bdr@linux-j9pv:~> df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda4 11G 11G 0 100% /
devtmpfs 1.4G 16K 1.4G 1% /dev
tmpfs 1.5G 0 1.5G 0% /dev/shm
tmpfs 1.5G 3.7M 1.5G 1% /run
tmpfs 1.5G 0 1.5G 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs 1.5G 3.7M 1.5G 1% /var/run
tmpfs 1.5G 3.7M 1.5G 1% /var/lock
/dev/sda7 21G 17G 2.4G 88% /home

I’m adding code tags to your “df” output to see if that improves readability. Please to that in future.

I cannot offer good advice. I have texlive installed, and am using around 10G for the root partition. But I have allocated a lot more than that. You need working space, such as for the raw packages that you are installing. With less than 20G for the root file system, you should avoid big packages such as texlive.

You need a larger disk for what you are wanting to do.

Boot from a Live CD, mount / and clean up /tmp


does anyone know what tmpfs is used for cause i have 4 tmpfs partitions shown up which are all used almost 1% each. the question is that i think tmp and tmpfs is same so why i get full tmp messages…

No, they are not the same.
/tmp is a place for storing temporary files (on openSUSE it is created on the hard disk by default, in other distributions it might use a tmpfs).

tmpfs is a virtual filesystem that doesn’t store the files on the hard disk, but keeps them in memory.
So it doesn’t use any space on the hard disk, is faster (normally at least), but its contents are lost when you shutdown/reboot your system.

You can have more than one tmpfs mounted, but you only have one /tmp. As already indicated a tmpfs can be used for other stuff than /tmp (on openSUSE it’s used for /run/, /var/run/, and /var/lock/ f.e.), and /tmp does not have to be on a tmpfs.

If your /tmp is full, you have to make space on the partition where your /tmp resides. (Normally it’s the / partition on openSUSE)
To find out how much space you have left on that partition (whereever it is located), run “df -h /tmp”.

To get you back on KDE, do as Uwe suggested, or remove content of /tmp from command line if your’e comfortable with it. You might also have a look in /var/tmp and /var/spool, you can safely remove the content in those directories as well.
But, of course, the limited drive space will not go away.

IMO nowadays, the usual advice to empty /tmp isn’t going to work on default installs.

Any partition that is formatted with tmpfs is mounted into RAM (not on disk) which means you won’t find anything on disk to empty.
Today, distros like openSUSE now mount just about anything into RAM that’s

  • Temporary. Working files which are not needed beyond the current task.
  • OS “running” files. When system boots, files are read from disk and actively used files are placed in memory.

IMO the main course of action is to boot a LiveCD (or pull the HDD and install as a secondary drive in another system), then remove files that are unnecessary. Based on your previous activity, you should have an idea what you’ve been doing that has filled up your root partition, in general that will be applications and their libraries.

Under the circumstances, I’d consider deleting your syslog files. They’re only of use on a running system and your system isn’t running.


Maybe other log files in


You’ll probably need at least a couple hundred MBytes free space to run at least temporarily.

If that becomes too difficult or insufficient, then I recommend

  • I see that your /home partition is 88% used. Clear out more space by moving large amounts of your /home/user/Downloads and /home/user/Documents off the drive onto attached storage (eg USB external drive). Or, if you’re on a network and can access network storage, that’s an option for temporary storage of your files as well. Remember, many files can be downloaded again, so get rid of those.
  • After you’ve cleared enormous amounts of free space from your /home partition, you can then consider re-sizing your partitions, making your /home partition smaller so that you can “grow” your / partition so you have some working space. You can do this by downloading and running gParted Live, which gives you an easy, graphical tool for partition manipulation.

Be aware as always that if you modify partitions there is always the possibility that your install could go bad although it hasn’t happened to me yet (dozens of use over the years). And, the steps I’ve described only are <temporary> measures to free space to get yourself running again. They may not result in a modified configuration you may want to keep, so after you fix your problems (eg delete all those apps you don’t use!) you may want to undo your changes.

Good Luck,

On openSUSE /tmp IS NOT a tmpfs.
Not even on the latest version (13.1) or Factory.

It is just a standard directory on your root partition, and thus takes up space on the hard disk.
It is not even cleaned up automatically by default (on 13.1 at least).

Btw, I think we already had this discussion once? :wink: