The sys admin’s daily grind: ncdu

BLOATED DATA

Article from Issue 81/2007
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I’ve never heard of an admin having to remove disks from a server because of a chronic lack of data, but full disks are part of the daily grind. The du clone ncdu will help slim down your data.

I use Nagios to keep track of hard-disk capacity on my server disks. Whenever the successor to NetSaint kindly informs me that the remaining disk capacity on server XY has dropped below the magical threshold of 10%, I may be warned, but the trouble is just starting. If I’m out of luck, the whole data repository could reside on a RAID system without anything in the line of partitioning, and believe me, this is fairly typical for smaller servers. With a bit more luck, Nagios might tell me that the /var partition is the bottleneck, leaving me to launch du and find out where the disk hogs have their megabytes stashed. Unfortunately, output from the Disk Usage tool for overly complicated directory trees, like the ones I have, is less than intuitive.

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