Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 GB

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Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 GB

Postby caperash on Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:35 am

Newbie here with 30 GB partition for Linux (which was automatically placed on smaller backup drive so not easy to expand to next door partition even if I knew how to do this in Linux).

I uninstalled Virtual Machine since otherwise had only 40 kb free and everything crashing. So that is good.

Then went into File Manager and after some digging around found in the var/log directory two files, each with 10 GB in them (!!).

syslog.1
and kern.log.1

Is there a valid reason for these files to be so huge?
Can I delete them without compromising the system?
Can I turn off this logging function?

I have had the system for about 2 weeks running every day without going back to W7 (yay!) but if it is going to use up this much HD space then I don't think I can keep managing disk space to accommodate it.

Suggestions/fixes welcome! That way I can stay with Linux Mint!
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Re: Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 G

Postby catweazel on Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:40 am

It's safe to delete them, but you should take a look inside them first and look to see if the system is generating lots of errors. From there we can work out the cause and fix.
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Re: Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 G

Postby caperash on Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:15 am

Thanks. I cannot open them, they are too big. But there is quite a bit of info that can be seen, albeit I lack the skills to interpret.

Cannot delete. That option is greyed out.

They seem to have stopped adding. I had a problem with the printer last week so on a whim just disconnected it, albeit did not see any mention of printer in either of those log files (what tiny percent of them I managed to load and skim through).

Is there a special way to delete such files?
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Re: Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 G

Postby catweazel on Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:22 am

You need to be root to delete them.

Use this command to display the last 50 lines of each one:
Code: Select all
tail -50 -f /var/log/syslog.1
tail -50 -f /var/log/kern.log.1

Copy 10 or so lines from each screen and post them here. Wrap the text in code markers, which are just above the typing area when you're posting.
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Re: Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 G

Postby caperash on Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:39 am

Thanks. I have no idea what being 'root' means!

Ash.
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Re: Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 G

Postby AlbertP on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:17 am

At least in Mint 14 you can right-click a folder > Open as Root, then type your password, to have the administrative permissions that you need to delete the old log files.
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Re: Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 G

Postby caperash on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:22 am

Thanks. I'll see if I can figure out how to get those last lines. For now am back in Windows. The printer wouldn't work again and I needed it.
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Re: Newbie Low Memory with 30GB partition var/log files 20 G

Postby caperash on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:12 am

THanks for help. I wasn't able to follow the commands you posted in. I pasted them into the terminal and got error message which I can't remember. Tried with smaller files too to ensure it wasn't a memory issue but same errors. When you don't know what you are doing and there are no examples shown or anything in the manuals, it is hard to figure out what to do.

In any case, once opened as Root, could delete the files, thereby freeing up 21.8 GB in the Linux partition.

IMO there is something not quite right about an OS which can casually build 10 GB txt files without warning you that something is going on under the hood.

I also still find it strange that I cannot see where the LInux partition is when I am in Linux, only when in Windows. I installed and opened GParted at which point I could see where it has been placed (smallest partition on my smaller-with-little-free-space and older and slower backup HD for some reason!). I don't understand why I cannot see that normally with the Files.

I intuitively like Linux and like Mint. But am definitely struggling with being unable to see what is going on - especially when there are problems. No doubt will learn over time, but it's going to be slow. Meanwhile, am using Linux as a way to reduce computer usage (no longer updating website for example since unable to figure out how to do it) which has its own upsides - life is simpler!!

My son just graduated from German computer college, so when he comes to visit in a couple of months he'll set me straight on all this. I suspect that's the best way for most non-geeks to learn, with live help.

That said, I suggest (there isn't any clear place to suggest, is there?) that Mint development team do much more work on a Manual document that addresses most core issues. The current document is concerned only with installation and even then it doesn't explain anything other than how to install. The installation is experience is much better than years ago, but what then? There remains a lot to be done. Some videos wouldn't be bad showing people basic functions (like how to open a file and get those last lines like you suggested above), but generally these things are clearer and simpler in documents with pictures. Easier to reference and file and quickly look up the info if you are coming back to it after several months gap.

Thanks again. All best. Will keep grinding along in Linux and no doubt slowly, slowly this almost-60 year old will get there!
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