Issue clearing / finding Inodes usage

Hi, my Linux knowledge is limited, hope you can help me. My Ubuntu server is running into the following error regarding disk usage: “Deploy failed: {“code”:“ENOSPC”,“message”:“ENOSPC: no space left on device, open ‘/home/nred/.node-red/flows.json.$$$’”}”

After some troubleshooting, it seems this is related to having 100% Inodes usage. (See below) image alt text

I found the following post regarding how to find Inodes but i run into issues when following the steps.

Using the command: “for i in /*; do echo $i; find $i |wc -l; done” I was able to narrow it down to /home using 3081197 Inodes.

After I followed the trail to: “for i in /home/*; do echo $i; find $i |wc -l; done” Which in turns gave me /home/nred using 3081196 Inodes which is fine so far.

Onto next step using “for i in /home/nred/*; do echo $i; find $i |wc -l; done” It only returns 4 files and 1 folder using 6307 Inodes. (See below)

image alt text
image caption

I am kind of lost at that point. Am I missing something?

Hope you can guide me to a fix.

Thank you. Regards.

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Bobby Iliev
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May 15, 2024
Accepted Answer

Hi there,

Based on the output that you’ve shared it looks like that all of the inodes are used by the /home/nred/ directory itself.

You can do a quick count to verify if this is the case:

ls -la /home/nred/ | wc

If this is not the case, check for hidden files:

for i in /home/nred/.* /home/nred/*; do echo $i; find $i | wc -l; done

I personally prefer the find command instead of doing this with a for loop:

find /home/nred -xdev -type d -print | while read dir; do echo -n "$dir: "; find "$dir" -type f | wc -l; done | sort -n -k2

Once you identify the directories with high inode usage, you can look for unnecessary files to delete. Common culprits include:

  • Temporary files
  • Log files
  • Cache files

If you identify a particular type of file that consumes a lot of inodes and is not necessary (e.g., cache files), you can clear it up with the following command which will delete files that are older than 30 days:

find /home/nred/.cache -type f -mtime +30 -delete

Let me know how it goes!



Site Moderator
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May 16, 2024


If the problem persist and it’s not related only to the php session files, you can expand the search and check the disk space usage in other directories as well.

You can check which folders are using the most space on the Droplet by using the disk utilization command, du:

  1. du -h --max-depth=1 /

Check our tutorial on How to fix disk space issues here:

There is also an ncurses interface for du, appropriately called ncdu, that you can install:

  1. sudo apt install ncdu

This will graphically represent your disk usage:

  1. ncdu
Output--- /root ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    8.0KiB [##########] /.ssh
    4.0KiB [#####     ] /.cache
    4.0KiB [#####     ]  .bashrc
    4.0KiB [#####     ]  .profile
    4.0KiB [#####     ]  .bash_history

You can step through the filesystem by using the up and down arrows and pressing Enter on any directory entry.

Hope that this helps!

Site Moderator
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May 16, 2024

Heya @19287c7d001a4449b78784e124069a,

It does seem like the issue comes from /home/nred/. Usually what fills up the inodes is actual files like a session or something similar that get’s generated automatically by something.

As for finding the Inodes, can you try using find, it suits the case a lot better. Something like the following should do the trick

find /home/nred -xdev -type d -print | while read dir; do echo -n "$dir: "; find "$dir" -type f | wc -l; done | sort -n -k2

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