Oh my… nothing puts a server down on its knees more than a root partition with 0% free space. Oh well, ok, maybe being dugg beats it. But still, when you have a full partition, you’re in trouble…

First thing is to find what is using that much space. My best bet is to do this:

cd / du -s *

You may also like du -sh * which will show human readable sizes.

Then you just need to cd into the largest dir and iterate… ;)

Comments from long ago:

Comment from: will trillich

we do the same here, adding “sort -nr” to get the primary suspects up top:

du -s * | sort -nr | head

then, as you say, we dive into the offending directories and lather, rinse, repeat as needed. :)

2008-02-18 05-29

Comment from: Web Design

We have a similar problem except we used this:

du -hs * | sort -nr | head

Then found the biggest directories.

We worked out that the offending party was “MYSQL” of all things.

I found the solution on this website:


We moved mysql to the /home partition and that was that - done!

2009-04-11 19-22

Comment from: François Planque

Another interesting command line:

find /var/log/ -type f -size +50000k -exec ls -lh {} ;

Will find your biggest log files!

2011-11-08 18-11

Comment from: NAIBED

I like ncdu for this. It has an ncurses interface and will let you delete files/directories. In debian apt-get install ncdu to get it then just ncdu /var/log/

2014-04-01 20-57