Error Establishing Database Connection after disk filled up

I have two Wordpress websites running off a single droplet. They are on LEMP stack.

I hadn’t checked them in a while but when I did, I found that one of them displayed the message: Error Establishing Database Connection after disk filled up

I opened up the Digital Ocean control panel and realized that I was using 100% disk space. Upon some investigation, I found that it was because a Wordpress plugin called ‘Updraft’ was saving larger and larger db backups in the content folder.

After backing up those backups to my computer, I deleted them all from the server.

Then I went to this tutorial and started following the steps.

sudo systemctl start mysql Didn’t work.

I then created /etc/my.cnf and added the lines

innodb_force_recovery = 6

I still got the same error. Job for mysql.service failed because the control process exited with error code. See "systemctl status mysql.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.

This is the result of systemctl status mysql.service:

mysql.service - MySQL Community Server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mysql.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: activating (start-post) (Result: exit-code) since Mon 2021-01-25 02:01:19 UTC; 12s ago
  Process: 12744 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/mysqld (code=exited, status=2)
  Process: 12736 ExecStartPre=/usr/share/mysql/mysql-systemd-start pre (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 12744 (code=exited, status=2);         : 12745 (mysql-systemd-s)
    Tasks: 2
   Memory: 224.0K
      CPU: 438ms
   CGroup: /system.slice/mysql.service
             ├─12745 /bin/bash /usr/share/mysql/mysql-systemd-start post
             └─12789 sleep 1

This is the result of sudo journalctl -xe:

Jan 25 02:02:20 BlueAdapterS2 audit[12928]: AVC apparmor="DENIED" operation="open" profile="/usr/sbin/mysqld" name="/etc/
Jan 25 02:02:20 BlueAdapterS2 kernel: audit: type=1400 audit(1611540140.858:131): apparmor="DENIED" operation="open" prof
Jan 25 02:02:21 BlueAdapterS2 systemd[1]: mysql.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=2/INVALIDARGUMENT
Jan 25 02:02:25 BlueAdapterS2 kernel: [UFW BLOCK] IN=eth0 OUT= MAC=b2:a6:ac:23:31:4a:80:7f:f8:66:e8:30:08:00 SRC=34.77.93
Jan 25 02:02:32 BlueAdapterS2 kernel: [UFW BLOCK] IN=eth0 OUT= MAC=b2:a6:ac:23:31:4a:18:2a:d3:e0:df:f0:08:00 SRC=194.26.2
Jan 25 02:02:49 BlueAdapterS2 sudo[13008]:      kev : TTY=pts/0 ; PWD=/home/kev ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/bin/journalctl -xe
Jan 25 02:02:49 BlueAdapterS2 sudo[13008]: pam_unix(sudo:session): session opened for user root by kev(uid=0)

Finally, here is part of the mysql log:

2021-01-25T01:23:43.119785Z 0 [Warning] Changed limits: max_open_files: 1024 (requested 5000)
2021-01-25T01:23:43.119858Z 0 [Warning] Changed limits: table_open_cache: 431 (requested 2000)
2021-01-25T01:23:43.284921Z 0 [Warning] TIMESTAMP with implicit DEFAULT value is deprecated. Please use --explicit_defaults_for_timestamp server option (see documentation for more details).
2021-01-25T01:23:43.287155Z 0 [Note] /usr/sbin/mysqld (mysqld 5.7.31-0ubuntu0.16.04.1) starting as process 5405 ...
2021-01-25T01:23:43.293301Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: PUNCH HOLE support available
2021-01-25T01:23:43.293342Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Mutexes and rw_locks use GCC atomic builtins
2021-01-25T01:23:43.293351Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Uses event mutexes
2021-01-25T01:23:43.293358Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: GCC builtin __atomic_thread_fence() is used for memory barrier
2021-01-25T01:23:43.293365Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Compressed tables use zlib 1.2.8
2021-01-25T01:23:43.293373Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Using Linux native AIO
2021-01-25T01:23:43.293664Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Number of pools: 1
2021-01-25T01:23:43.293780Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Not using CPU crc32 instructions
2021-01-25T01:23:43.295277Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Initializing buffer pool, total size = 128M, instances = 1, chunk size = 128M
2021-01-25T01:23:43.308704Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Completed initialization of buffer pool
2021-01-25T01:23:43.310582Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: If the mysqld execution user is authorized, page cleaner thread priority can be changed. See the man page of setpriority().
2021-01-25T01:23:43.322585Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Highest supported file format is Barracuda.
2021-01-25T01:23:43.323343Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Log scan progressed past the checkpoint lsn 32014615639
2021-01-25T01:23:43.445307Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 32019858432
2021-01-25T01:23:43.476823Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 32022746925
2021-01-25T01:23:43.476920Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Database was not shutdown normally!
2021-01-25T01:23:43.476926Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Starting crash recovery.
2021-01-25T01:23:43.505719Z 0 [Note] InnoDB: Starting an apply batch of log records to the database...
InnoDB: Progress in percent: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 2021-01-25 01:23:43 0xa42a8b40  InnoDB: Assertion failure in thread 2754251584 in file line 2078
InnoDB: Failing assertion: !page || (ibool)!!page_is_comp(page) == dict_table_is_comp(index->table)
InnoDB: We intentionally generate a memory trap.
InnoDB: Submit a detailed bug report to
InnoDB: If you get repeated assertion failures or crashes, even
InnoDB: immediately after the mysqld startup, there may be
InnoDB: corruption in the InnoDB tablespace. Please refer to
InnoDB: about forcing recovery.
01:23:43 UTC - mysqld got signal 6 ;
This could be because you hit a bug. It is also possible that this binary
or one of the libraries it was linked against is corrupt, improperly built,
or misconfigured. This error can also be caused by malfunctioning hardware.
Attempting to collect some information that could help diagnose the problem.
As this is a crash and something is definitely wrong, the information
collection process might fail.

It is possible that mysqld could use up to 
key_buffer_size + (read_buffer_size + sort_buffer_size)*max_threads = 75719 K  bytes of memory
Hope that's ok; if not, decrease some variables in the equation.

Thread pointer: 0x0
Attempting backtrace. You can use the following information to find out
where mysqld died. If you see no messages after this, something went
terribly wrong...
stack_bottom = 0 thread_stack 0x30000
57 58 59 /usr/sbin/mysqld(_Z22recv_recover_page_funcmP11buf_block_t+0x863)[0x8b7dbc3]
The manual page at contains
information that should help you find out what is causing the crash.

I’m at a complete loss on how to get the database up and running again. Any help would be very much appreciated.

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Andrew Moore
DigitalOcean Employee
DigitalOcean Employee badge
January 26, 2021
Accepted Answer


thanks for posting this. I’ve got some bad news. The output tells me that the database instance suffered some corruption. When we trouble shoot an instance that won’t start we often iterate over the various levels of innodb_force_recovery. As you’ve already gotten to level 6 without the instance being started successfully it’s really going to require 1 of 2 actions to get you running again.

  1. Contact a specialist Innodb data recovery company to do a deep data recovery. This is certainly not a cheap route. I’ve seen 10s of 1000s of $ spent on very little success. I could only recommend this route if the data on that filesystem is extremely important and irrecoverable.

  2. Use your latest backup to recover the instance. This is the kind of situation the backups are taken for. With the disk filling up, your latest backup may be somewhat out of date depending on how close to the disk-fill-event the backup was taken.


I would recommend spending a little time getting your server configuration reviewed and tuned. You might benefit from having a replica available for your application too, but at the very least you should enable the binary logging feature to permit a point-in-time recovery if needed in the future.

Let me know if I can be any more help.

Good luck!


Andrew Moore
DigitalOcean Employee
DigitalOcean Employee badge
January 25, 2021

Hello @kevkix, I’m Andy, one of DigitalOcean’s MySQL DBAs. I look after the internal MySQL databases and I think I can assist you today.

Can you attempt to start the mysqld process without the ‘innodb_force_recovery = 6’ set, then post the mysql error log output for that startup attempt in this thread.

I notice that journalctl ouput shows “INVALIDARGUMENT” in the mysqld line, it could point to a configuration problem. Can you also paste the contents of the mysql configuration file?

This should get us started.



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