If you have separate /var, /usr and /home partitions, what should be the size of / in Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop ?
I've always thought that 3 GB is more than enough. I was wrong, today my laptop said me that it has only 138 MB free in / partition.
I was rather shocked. The first victim for me seemed /tmp. Yes, it is not cleared on boot in Ubuntu, and this is unusual (I usually enable /tmp cleanup on my FreeBSD desktop systems or use mfs for it and previously on my OpenSolaris desktop it was by default in RAM/swap and didn't bother me). But that didn't help. Maybe I just didn't wait enough for fs counters update.
But that forced me to continue investigation: what can use 3 GB in root fs ?
The short answer is /boot. I had about 20 versions of kernel installed: from manually compiled 2.6.31 kernel (I suddenly realized that I must have recompiled it to get SunSPOT support several years ago and it was still booted by default) to 188.8.131.52 one. Kernel plus initrd image occupies just some more than 20 MB. But if you have about 20 versions of them, it becomes significant for root fs...
Of course, I don't want my old kernel version to disappear after system update. But I would appreciate if package manager said something like this: "Hey, guy, you have 10 versions of kernel installed, are you sure that you need them?" :)
P.S. Just found out - /tmp is cleared up by default if it is on separate FS (look at /etc/init/mounted-tmp.conf). I understand that having /tmp in root is a bad habit, but nonetheless I don't think that it is so uncommon setup to ignore this possibility in startup scripts.