Working with a Centos7 with 3.10 kernel, docker 19.03.12.

Eventually, one of the docker images got full and wrote the entire /var/ mount to 100%, crashing both the docker service and the running containers.

Now there are 2 zombie process left that I can't kill (with kill -9 or killall:

ps axjf | grep docker
    1 30215 30215 30215 ?           -1 Ds       0   0:00 [docker-entrypoi]
    1 32063 32063 32063 ?           -1 Zsl      0   0:00 [dockerd] <defunct>

Meanwhile, on /var/log/messages I'm getting:

kernel: XFS (dm-8): Failing async write on buffer block 0xb78170. Retrying async write.
kernel: XFS (dm-8): metadata I/O error: block 0xb78170 ("xfs_buf_iodone_callback_error") error 28 numblks 8

where it seems that some IO is still trying to write some data. This seems to be repeating on an infinite cycle, and I'm not sure how to stop it.

du -sh and ls -al hangs quickly when inspecting the /var/lib/docker files.

Additionally, service docker stop/start also hangs; top reports very high load/wait times (around 23 for a 4 core machine).

My question: without rebooting the machine, what would the best way to cleanly stop the xfs writes, kill the zombie processes and restart the services?

1 Answer 1


Free up some disk space.

The error reported by the kernel messages you posted is 28, "No space left on device".

  • This didn't change after freeing up the /var. My guess is that the docker service doesn't expand the virtual drive, which it can't due to being stuck? And I can't seem to restart the service due to unresponsive systemctl calls.
    – runr
    Aug 27, 2020 at 16:49
  • @Nutle You didn't provide any information about how you set up Docker storage, nor about your XFS filesystem. Aug 27, 2020 at 17:09
  • I don't know the details, since I'm not the one who set it up. This is a standard general purpose machine, with docker-ce installed with everything by default. What additional info should I provide? The guess about the docker drive comes from the observation, that ls -al and du -sh freezes when looking at /var/lib/docker/.../devicemapper folder - my guess is that this is where the container data is stored.
    – runr
    Aug 27, 2020 at 17:15
  • @Nutle Devicemapper? That's not a good sign. That was never a production quality storage driver and was never recommended for anything but development or testing, and it isn't very good at those either. I suspect you're going to be rebuilding this box before it's over. Anyway, you could provide information about the Docker storage configuration, filesystems present on the machine (e.g. df), xfs_info, and anything else that might be helpful. Aug 27, 2020 at 17:33
  • 1
    @Nutle Yes, overlay2 is what you should be using, and you should also have a long chat with whoever chose the non-default ftype=0 on your XFS filesystem, because you'll have to reformat that too. Aug 28, 2020 at 18:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .