Ask Klaus!

Ask Klaus!

Article from Issue 68/2006

Two months ago, a reader wrote, “I have been told that a Linux system can “fill up” when it runs out of inode numbers because too many small files are created.” The reader had two questions about inodes numbers: • What happens to the inode number allocated to a file that has been deleted? • Is it re-allocated to newly created files? I gave a correct but very technical answer to this question on inode number creation. But upon further reflection, it has occurred to me that maybe what the reader really wanted to know was, “What conditions lead to a “file system full condition” (because no inode entries are left), and what can I do about it?” It can be an amazing and annoying situation when a partition is shown as almost empty with the df command, yet every attempt of writing a file results in a “no space left on the device” message.

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