SUMMARY: /tmp running out of inodes.

From: Christopher L. Barnard (
Date: Tue Jun 20 1995 - 09:22:06 CDT

I originally asked

> I'm having a problem with /tmp running out of inodes on my Sun 4/370
> running SunOS 4.1.3. I've got nnmaster generating databases for the
> nn newsreader on this machine, and it apparently uses /tmp to generate
> the databases. The machine has been crashing fairly regularly in the
> last week with an error message on the console from nn regarding a
> newsgroup (different one every time), then a message that / is out of
> inodes, and then the machine faceplants on the machine room floor.
> /tmp is a tmpfs filesystem in memory, and the 4/370 has 56megs of memory
> plus around 200megs of swap.
> Has anyone else seen a machine crash because /tmp has run out of
> inodes? This seems rather unusual, and I'm worried that it may be
> a portent of worse things to come for this machine...

Thanks as always for a fast and furious response full of excellent
suggestions. As several people pointed out, it was /tmp that was
filling up, but the error messages were that / was running out of
inodes. Since /tmp is a tmpfs, it isn't in /. Since /tmp was clearly
filling up as well as / running out of inodes, I took a guess that there
was a hardware problem involved and I replaced a couple of the external
SCSI cables connecting the drives. The machine has now been stable for
6 days, not giving me so much as a hiccough.

What was interesting is finding out how other people configure their
/tmp directories. About half swear by tmpfs and the other half swear
by creating /tmp as its own separate filesystem. (Doing the latter
is what allows you to increase the number of inodes- you can't increase
inodes on a tmpfs). Likewise, about 50% of the people reported that
they either symlink /var/tmp to /tmp or vice versa, while the other
50% do as I do and have it a separate filesystem, so that there are
two temporary filesystems on each machine.

Thanks to: (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child}) (S. D. Raffensberger 500622500 (RD)) (Michael K. Glass)
Chris Zanelli <> (Russ Poffenberger)
mshon@sunrock.East.Sun.COM (Michael J. Shon {*Prof Services} Sun Rochester)

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