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Free space on drive in Linux: getting more

Did you know that Linux sets aside 5% of a disk drive as a reserve for system use? When you have a terabyte sized hard drive, that means 50 GB that you cannot use in normal operations. This is a good idea if the drive is used for system purposes.

It’s OK to totally disable file system reserved block count, if the file system is not used by root user account or storing system log and system/program temp files (e.g. /var and /tmp). For example, file system dedicated to host database table files, Samba shares, movie or music files, etc, are safe to disable file system reserved block count. (Tune2fs Command May Increase Linux Free Disk Space)

What that means is that your terabyte external drive used to store movies can be allowed to store another 40 movies or so by using the command

sudo tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sdc1 (use df or similar to find the proper /dev entry for your drive)

The entry quotes notes that “tune2fs -l” or “dumpe2fs -h” can provide information about the current status of a device. Be sure to check the man page on commands like this to verify the purpose of a command and option. Make sure, also, to have a good backup ‘just in case’ something goes wrong!

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