Running out of inodes in PC BSD

Comment out linprocfs?

By Rick Jelliffe
July 11, 2010 | Comments: 2

I had an odd problem last Friday with my new PC-BSD installation. Suddenly a whole lot of things stopped working: in particular, I couldn't load media or see extra disks. Opening up Dolphin file manager in Adminstrator mode (under the Applications>System in the Kickoff button lower LHS of screen) gave an "unable to open file" for the config file, and reported that the system had run out of inodes.

But using df showed there was plenty of disk space on the /, /var and /usr partitions, and df -i showed there was no problem with the number of inodes. But the extra non-UNIX partitions I was expecting did not show up.

My first effort was to comment out the tmpfs entry in /etc/fstab, but after that X Windows would not start. Bad guess.

I had just enabled the linprocfs and I noticed the numbers for it seemed strange. So when I commented it out in /etc/fstab and restarted, everything works right. I commented out both procfs and linprocfs so I cannot be sure which was the culprit. Here is my current /dev/fstab:

# Device Mountpoint FStype Options Dump Pass
/dev/label/rootfs0 / ufs rw,noatime 1 1
/dev/label/swap0 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/label/var0 /var ufs rw,noatime 1 1
/dev/label/usr0 /usr ufs rw,noatime 1 1
#procfs /proc procfs rw 0 0
#linprocfs /compat/linux/proc linprocfs rw 0 0
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs rw,mode=1777 0 0

It seems that, certainly if you have something like my configuration which is very vanilla (and up-to-date as at 2010-07-11), you really don't want to have one of the procfs or the linprocfs running under FreeBSD 8 at the moment: I presume it is the linprocfs. Maybe has a bad interaction with tmpfs or devfs? I am not motivated enough to investigate further, it is back to work for me.

Anyway, for anyone interested, here is my current report, which is working—sorry the format is not green on black :-)

root@pcbsd-5660# df -i
Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Avail Capacity iused ifree %iused Mounted on
/dev/label/rootfs0 2026030 358764 1505184 19% 6714 275908 2% /
devfs 1 1 0 100% 0 0 100% /dev
/dev/label/var0 1012974 157846 774092 17% 28034 113276 20% /var
/dev/label/usr0 84763496 12647682 65334736 16% 659425 10315805 6% /usr
tmpfs 5553348 20 5553328 0% 26 4194277 0% /tmp
/tmp 5553348 20 5553328 0% 26 4194277 0% /usr/jails/portjail/tmp
/media 2026030 358764 1505184 19% 6714 275908 2% /usr/jails/portjail/media
/usr/home 84763496 12647682 65334736 16% 659425 10315805 6% /usr/jails/portjail/usr/home
devfs 1 1 0 100% 0 0 100% /usr/jails/portjail/dev
procfs 4 4 0 100% 1 0 100% /usr/jails/portjail/proc
/dev/fuse0 102406308 24217556 78188752 24% 56239 78230817 0% /media/disk-1
/dev/fuse1 102406308 35970084 66436224 35% 340380 66489060 1% /media/disk-2
/dev/ar0s2e 84763496 12687462 65294956 16% 659882 10315348 6% /media/disk-3

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Interesting experience. I have also used PC-BSD but have never come across this problem.

I, along with other users of the BSD systems would love to know more about the issue if you get the chance.

Kind Regards

Thinking about it more (I am reluctant to experiment for obvious reasons!), I am not sure the problem really is running out of inodes, and my heading may be misleading, though I am not sure what to change it too: the system acted like it had run out of i-nodes, but that may not be the actual problem, if you see what I mean.

When I had the problem, I could not do "touch x" anywhere, but "df" reported plenty of diskspace free.

I think the problem may be that loading the linprofs fails in such a way that messes up other file system operations and, in particular, write operations: IIRC correctly the /media directory did not have entries for the other disks.

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