Issue on the server

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Wed Nov 24 23:46:26 PST 2004

For the website list readers:

the last few days the /var partition had been filling up every night by some 
unknown process which caused for some problems with Postfix, syslogd, myssql 
and others. I was monitoring the server tonight as it happened.

First an email forward sent to server-admin earlier:

On November 24, 2004 08:02 pm, Gerard Beekmans wrote:
> I wrote a little script that runs every 10 minutes (starting ten minutes
> ago) that will output the data from these commands:
> du -h --max-depth=1 /var
> ps -ef
> top -b -n 1
> df -h
> To log files. I'll check them in the morning to try and get an idea of
> which process is causing /var to fill up at around 00:45-00:55. whenever
> i wake up, /var is back to its normal state but the last entry in the
> /var/log/sys.log file is something about it having run out of disk space
> (postfix complained about it).

The script was to blame. I didn't check it out in 
detail. According to the "df" output, the /var partition was slowly being 
filled (at a rate of about 1 MB/sec) but the output of "du /var" didn't show 
any increase in size of any directory or file so I have no clear idea which 
file or directory was growing so large. I ended up killing the script before 
the partition filled completely and a few seconds after killing the script 
all diskspace was freed up again (according to "df" anyway -- "du" still 
showed no increase in anything).

I've commented out the script from /etc/fcrontab for now. If one of you guys 
can manually run it at some point and baby-sit it see where things go wrong, 
that would be appreciated.

Gerard Beekmans

/* If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem */

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