Monday, July 11, 2005

Out of disk space

Time for a bit of embarrassment.

I was coding merrily away in my new Eclipse 3.1, and got an error saving a source file. This is instant cause for alarm; if it has problems saving, that's really, really bad. I missed the "More Info" button on the first dialog, and ran to a shell prompt to see if the file was really corrupt.

Shortly, though, I did something to generate a "disk full" message from the command line. Harumph! Last time I looked, I had 3 or 4GB free.

(I later went back to Eclipse, got the dialog again, and clicked "More Info" to get the "out of disk space" message. For short messages like that, IMO Eclipse should just display the message, and do away with the "More Info" button.)

So, let's go find the offending file. du is your friend, and showed that my home dir housed the culprit. But looking closer, it didn't show where. All of the files and subdirs that it showed were reasonably sized, and added up to about 4GB less than the total.

Well, it turns out that du doesn't show files starting with a period, just like ls. And like ls, it has a "-a" switch to turn on display of those dot files. Grrr!

The problem was runaway messages coming out of ALSA, being put into .X.err. Something odd about a file pointer being out of sync. Yes, I should have saved the message to troubleshoot, but instead, I just restarted and have been watching ever since for .X.err to be recreated. So far, it hasn't been. (I also should have started out by restarting alsasound, rather than sacrificing 72 days of uptime, but oh well.)

As an aside, I added a line to my crontab: 0 7 * * * test -f /home/me/.X.err && echo "It's back!" This way, I'll be alerted (via email) when it returns. Hopefully, it doesn't grow to 4GB in less than 24 hours.

Sigh. Now then, where was I?


Post a Comment

<< Home