Mintbox Mini 2 - Disk full? Cannot login anymore

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michaelonthecoast
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Mintbox Mini 2 - Disk full? Cannot login anymore

Post by michaelonthecoast » Tue May 28, 2019 9:31 pm

HI all,
So I got a new Mintbox Mini 2. I want to install a fax modem so I installed Hylafax as well as apache, mysql, and php so I could migrate a Windows server to this beast. When I did the initial install I selected Timeshift to backup the only user directory. Now the fun starts. As I was digging around on how to detect my usb usrobotics fax modem Timeshift kicked in. I saw a message about running out of disk space. I thought that was weird as I had barely installed anything. I looked to see what was up and as the filesystem folders were listed out in the window I could see that there was a timeshift folder within the Hylafax folder. I've never used Timeshift before so I don't know if this is expected or not. So I opened that timeshift folder and as I went deeper into the folders it had it seemed to recurse back to the Hylafax folder again!
Somehow it seems that Timeshift got confused and keep looping back on itself until it ran out of disk space. I tried to disable timeshift but the timeshift dialog said that is was running and basically wait until it was done. I shut down the system hoping that would end it. Now I can't log back in. When I attempt to log in the screen flickers black for a moment and then brings me back to the log in screen. I have tried using the safe mode from the grub screen but when I log in I get a bunch of text messages (errors?) that flash quickly and then I get sent back to the log in screen again. I'd like to just reset the whole box and start over and NEVER use timeshift. Anyone got an idea of how to help me get access to this system again?

Dot_mdb
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Re: Mintbox Mini 2 - Disk full? Cannot login anymore

Post by Dot_mdb » Tue May 28, 2019 10:46 pm

My guess is that the problem is not with Timeshift.

You will probably have to boot in with the install drive and then look at your drive to see where the storage space has been used up. The first place I would look is in var/log.

Bill

deck_luck
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Re: Mintbox Mini 2 - Disk full? Cannot login anymore

Post by deck_luck » Wed May 29, 2019 12:24 am

Did you install Linux Mint with only one file system or a separate / "root" and /home file systems? What are the file system size(s)?

I do not know your skill level. Are you able to use the terminal to run commands from the bash cli? Without using the terminal per se, you can hit escape while booting your Mint Mini to interrupt the grub process. You can select the Advanced options for Linux Mint and the (recovery mode) option. Once in the Recovery Menu select the clean - "Try to make free space" option. This may get you enough free space to at least reboot and login without requiring additional terminal commands. If you can login immediately disable Time Shift to prevent any further space consumption.

The TimeShift utility is a very useful tool. Even though you are experiencing a challenge that may be related to it, I would not give up on it. Time Shift was originally designed to provide a way to create a snapshot of the / "root" file system to be created before any system software updates. If a major system software update fails you could effectively restore the system with previous Time Shift snap shot. The default Time Shift configuration excludes /home from the snapshot. Remember the Time Shift intentions are to make a snapshot of the system software not the user(s) data. The snapshots are not meant to be backups, but instead the snapshot are rollback points. After all a true backup resides on different media to restore a defective hard drive or solid state disk. In a decade we will probably not use hard drives or solid state disks in favor of Optane-like technologies. I think I am rambling now, so I will shut up.
💡Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. ✝️

michaelonthecoast
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Re: Mintbox Mini 2 - Disk full? Cannot login anymore

Post by michaelonthecoast » Wed May 29, 2019 9:00 am

I did not install Linux Mint 19.1 on my Mintbox Mini 2 - it comes pre-installed. (https://linuxmint.com/store_mintbox.php). I think the issue was not Timeshift by itself but my hunch is that Hylafax installed in the user folder but set a link to the real location outside the user folder in the root directory. So when Timeshift went to backup the user folder it followed that link and then possibly recursed back up to the parent of the Hylafax folder which was now root and so continued to back up root. However it happened, I can't get back in now.

Good plan with the "clean" option. I will give that shot!

michaelonthecoast
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Re: Mintbox Mini 2 - Disk full? Cannot login anymore [SOLVED]

Post by michaelonthecoast » Wed May 29, 2019 11:17 am

Good news! I was able to run the Cinnamon in recovery mode and press 'c' for console. Once in the console I was able to find the timeshift directory and delete the snapshots to give me enough room to boot to the usual gui environment. Once there I cleaned up the errant recursive snapshots, disabled timeshift and got my space back. Now back to getting my USRobotics modem working! Thanks.

deck_luck
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Re: Mintbox Mini 2 - Disk full? Cannot login anymore

Post by deck_luck » Wed May 29, 2019 4:28 pm

I hope my explanation of the Time Shift purpose makes sense.

Most all backup or copy utilities will not following symbolic links unless instructed to do so. Also, if you configured Time Shift to include user data (/home/*) it can eat disk space in a hurry. If your intentions are to use Time Shift like a backup you would encourage you to acquire an external hard drive and configure TimeShift->Settings->Location to assign the backup destination. Also update the Settings->Users and ->Filters accordingly.
💡Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. ✝️

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