By default, linux reserve 5% of the hard drive in order to prevent the server from crashing. If you’ve ever seen an application lock up because your drive is at 100% and it can’t write to the logs, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Imagine the same situation, but there is no room on the disk drive… at all. That move you just tried to perform can’t happen cause there is no place for it to go.

Well, luckily we have the 5% reserved block and on your 250G drive is 12.5G. Well, from what I’ve read this is way to much for this. I can’t find a definitive amount, but a lot of articles suggest going down to 3% or even 1%.

This is how you ‘set’ the size at file-system creation:

# mkfs.ext3 -m 1/dev/sda1 (replace sda1 with your partition name)

The above command creates a file system with only 1% of its space reserved for the root user. To ‘change’ the reserved blocks after the file-system creation, you can use tune2fs utility:

# tune2fs -m 1 /dev/sda1 (replace sda1 with your partition name)

Further reading

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