How to manually clean up your server's disk space
4 minute read
All commands in this guide are executed as root over SSH. If you do not have root access, see this guide for more information.
If you have no space left, you will only be able to use the SSH keys you previously added. If you run out of disk space and have not added any SSH keys, contact SelfPrivacy support for further assistance.
There are several ways to clean up your server’s disk space.
To check how much disk space you have, run the following command:
This will output a table like this:
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on devtmpfs 97M 0 97M 0% /dev tmpfs 969M 52K 969M 1% /dev/shm tmpfs 485M 3.8M 481M 1% /run tmpfs 969M 432K 968M 1% /run/wrappers /dev/sda1 19G 8.2G 9.5G 47% / /dev/sdb 18G 62M 17G 1% /volumes/sdb tmpfs 194M 0 194M 0% /run/user/0
Here, the filesystem mounted on just
/ is your system volume.
Deleting old NixOS generations
Zero space warningThis method won’t work if you have no space left on your system volume. Use other methods first.
NixOS allows you to roll back to previous system states at any time, at the cost of disk space. SelfPrivacy servers are configured to reclaim disk space by automatically deleting old system states, but only states older than 7 days are deleted, so you can still use the rollback feature.
It is possible to manually delete all old system states, and it may give you more much needed disk space. To do this, simply run the following command as root:
This operation might take a while, depending on the number of system states you have. When it is done, you will see how much disk space you have freed up.
Deleting old logs
Logs sometimes may take up quite a lot of disk space. On SelfPrivacy servers, system logs are always limited to 500MiB, but these are not the only log files you have on your server.
To check how much disk space logs take up, run the following command:
du -h --max-depth=1 /var/log
The output will look something like this:
4.0K /var/log/private 14M /var/log/nginx 499M /var/log/journal 587M /var/log
/var/log/journal are the system logs where all apps usually write their logs. As you can see in this example,
they respect the 500MiB limit.
If you want to clear all system logs, run the following command:
journalctl --rotate && journalctl --vacuum-time=1s
This will usually give you around 450 MiB of free disk space, but not for long. This may though be enough to run some commands that will free up more space.
/var/log/nginx directory contains logs for the Nginx web server. If they got too big, you can clear them by running:
rm /var/log/nginx/* && systemctl reload nginx
As you can see, we don’t just delete the files, but also reload Nginx. This is because Nginx will get confused by the missing log files, and they will not be recreated until Nginx is reloaded.
Deleting old system
This operation can only be performed once during the lifetime of your server.
If you have installed SelfPrivacy on your own hardware, this may lead to some data loss.
When you install SelfPrivacy on a server, the existing system gets replaced by NixOS. But the old system is still there and takes up disk space, so you can roll back to it if you want.
To measure how much disk space the old system takes up, run the following command:
du -h --max-depth=1 /old-root/
If there is no old system in place, you will see
du: cannot access '/old-root/': No such file or directory.
But if you do have an old system, you may delete it by running the following command:
rm -rf /old-root/
This usually frees up around 1.8 GiB of disk space on typical SelfPrivacy servers.