I was recently told by another developer that whilst diagnosing a server issue (our application could not write logs due to insufficient disk space) he was able to view remaining disk space on what he called an 'isolated partition'. He said that this partition was on /var (I may have my terms incorrect here). What I usually do to check disk space is df -h but this told me that disk usage was well below 50%.

The developer in question has since left the company and I would like to know:

a) what he meant b) how to view percentage disk usage on all volumes, partitions etc in a one-liner from a shell.

I also tried mount to list all mounted partitions but could not see anything relating to /var

1 Answer 1


This is not a term that I've heard with regard to filesystems. df -h should show the usage of all partitions.

You can also use df -i to ascertain the number of inodes still available, which can contribute to a full filesystem. If this is the case you need to track down 0-byte files and remove them.

  • I read somewhere that running out of inodes might have caused the 'No space left on device' we were getting. DOes that ring any bells?
    – codecowboy
    Apr 9, 2014 at 16:15
  • 1
    You could try running: df -i -- if the result is 100%, then yes, your problem is that the disk is too full of small or 0-byte files.
    – Martin Eve
    Apr 9, 2014 at 17:42
  • You should maybe add that to your answer. Thanks for your insight :)
    – codecowboy
    Apr 9, 2014 at 18:38

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