Different disk space usage for 5 identical droplets of Ubuntu 16.04.3

I have 5 droplets created at different times, older one Oct 2016 with Ubuntu 16.04.1 and newer 16.04.2. All of them have nginx php7-fpm and Grav CMS on it, nothing else, same exact configuration of the files in www in the user folder.

I recently upgraded them all to 16.04.3 for the meltdown and spectre fixes and since I made snapshots before and after the process I realized a big difference in used space of the droplets: 3 of them are 1.8GB the newest. 2 are 4.5GB the oldest ones. What is making this big difference?

The size of the www folder goes from 100mb of the smaller to 500mb of the bigger one since the sites are quite small, so that’s not making a the difference.

I upgraded with “dist-upgrade” and then did “apt-get clean” “apt-get autoremove” and “apt-get autoremove --purge” to clean all unused apt and old kernels, but that did little to nothing. Actually the small droplets got smaller and the big ones got bigger after all the upgrades.

It’s not really a problem since everything’s working properly, but I would like to know more about it, just to learn a bit more about the Linus environment.

Thanks in advance for the reply.

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Accepted Answer

if you run: sudo du -h -d 1 / On a new vs. old machine that should tell you which of your top-level directories is taking up extra space. Probably either /home or /var You can then run: sudo du -h -d 1 /var etc. to narrow down where the space is.