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I ran df -h several times in rapid succession, and I'm getting these results. Can somebody help me understand why?

I'm not sure how much back-story you need. The disk in question is a Toshiba DT01ABA300 external USB hard drive which I am currently using for backups. But I'm not adding and removing GB of files, I'm just running a backup which should primarily (if not only) be adding data to the disk.

$ df -h /storage
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdi1             2.7T  2.1T  517G  81% /storage  
$ df -h /storage
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdi1             2.7T  2.1T  466G  83% /storage  
$ df -h /storage
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdi1             2.7T  2.3T  261G  91% /storage  
$ df -h /storage
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdi1             2.7T  2.2T  363G  87% /storage  
$ df -h /storage
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdi1             2.7T  2.1T  517G  81% /storage  
$ df -h /storage
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdi1             2.7T  2.3T  312G  89% /storage  
$ df -h /storage
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdi1             2.7T  2.1T  466G  83% /storage

1 Answer 1

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Without more information is impossible to tell what's happening. What you can do is:

  1. Prepend your df command with date so you can know how fast the free disk space is changing. I'm surprised, in particular, by the rapid delete/write of 200 Gb.

  2. Use du to check disk usage in subdirs of /storage.

  3. Do a lsof | grep storage to see which process is opening files in your /storage.

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    "Use df to check disk usage in subdirs of /storage." That won't work unless they are separate file systems; OP wants du in that case.
    – user
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 12:34
  • @MichaelKjörling You're absolutely right, corrected.
    – dr_
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 12:43

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