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I am running out of inodes. Only 11% available:

the-foo:~ # df -i 
Filesystem               Inodes   IUsed   IFree IUse% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/system-home 9830400 8702297 1128103   89% /home

Is there a way to solve this without creating and copying to a new partition?


the-foo:~ # tune2fs -l /dev/mapper/system-home
tune2fs 1.42.6 (21-Sep-2012)
Filesystem volume name:   <none>
Last mounted on:          /home
Filesystem UUID:          55899b65-15af-437d-ac56-d323c702f305
Filesystem magic number:  0xEF53
Filesystem revision #:    1 (dynamic)
Filesystem features:      has_journal ext_attr resize_inode dir_index filetype needs_recovery extent flex_bg sparse_super large_file huge_file uninit_bg dir_nlink extra_isize
Filesystem flags:         signed_directory_hash 
Default mount options:    user_xattr acl
Filesystem state:         clean
Errors behavior:          Continue
Filesystem OS type:       Linux
Inode count:              9830400
Block count:              39321600
Reserved block count:     1966080
Free blocks:              22958937
Free inodes:              2706313
First block:              0
Block size:               4096
Fragment size:            4096
Reserved GDT blocks:      1014
Blocks per group:         32768
Fragments per group:      32768
Inodes per group:         8192
Inode blocks per group:   512
Flex block group size:    16
Filesystem created:       Tue Jul  8 08:02:22 2014
Last mount time:          Sun Apr 24 22:33:00 2016
Last write time:          Thu Sep  8 09:18:01 2016
Mount count:              11
Maximum mount count:      10
Last checked:             Tue Jul  8 08:02:22 2014
Check interval:           0 (<none>)
Lifetime writes:          349 GB
Reserved blocks uid:      0 (user root)
Reserved blocks gid:      0 (group root)
First inode:              11
Inode size:           256
Required extra isize:     28
Desired extra isize:      28
Journal inode:            8
First orphan inode:       2759586
Default directory hash:   half_md4
Directory Hash Seed:      e4402d28-9b15-46e2-9521-f0e25dfb58d0
Journal backup:           inode blocks

Please let me know if more details are needed.

marked as duplicate by mdpc, user9517 linux Sep 12 '16 at 6:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • @neutrinus No. That's about the size of an inode (256 vs. 128 bytes), not about the number of inodes. – glglgl Sep 8 '16 at 12:03
  • @glglgl sure, but they also provide a solution to do it "in place" - by resizing two partitions – neutrinus Sep 8 '16 at 12:13
  • 1
    Since increasing the number of inodes is not possible: Try to understand why you are running out of inodes. Maybe you have a directory full of small files that just needs to be flushed from time to time. Alternatively check if putting these files into an archive is an option for you. – scai Sep 8 '16 at 13:06

Is there a way to solve this without creating and copying to a new partition

Nope, the number of inodes is fixed when the filesystem is created as the man page says

Be warned that it is not possible to expand the number of inodes on a filesystem after it is created, so be careful deciding the correct value for this parameter.


Mostly no, but in your case you have used LVM and there is a LV (Logical Volume) for home.

If you run pvdisplay and look for "free extents" it may be possible run lvexpand to increase the size of the home LV, and then run resize2fs

Downside is you'll only add inodes at the same rate as the current filesyste already has.

What you need to do is find which directory has a lot of files, and decide if you need them

A 0-byte file will use an inode.

$ ls -la /home drwxr-xr-x 194 criggie criggie 28672 Sep 8 18:13 criggie drwxr-xr-x 2 statler statler 4096 Dec 13 2015 statler drwxr-xr-x 2 wakdorf waldorf 4096 Dec 21 2014 waldorf

Notice the 194 in the second column? This shows there are a lot of inodes in use in that directory. cd into that directory and repeat.

I suspect you have a temp directory or something with many thousands of small files, which can likely be purged.

  • 5
    No, the second column of 'ls -l' is the number of (hard) links to that file. For a directory, it's the count of subdirectories + 2. (each subdirectory of D has the .. entry referring to D, also plus one for the directory's own . entry plus one for its actual name.) – ilkkachu Sep 8 '16 at 13:55
  • @ilkkachu OK thanks for that, you are correct, Still its an indicator of which directories have a lot of files inside them, and are worth checking for large numbers of small files. – Criggie Sep 8 '16 at 23:29
  • @Criggie: No. It is an indicator of which directories have a lot of immediate subdirectories. if foo/ contains 10,000 files but no subdirectories, it will have a link count of two. If bar/ contains one subdirectory bar/baz/, which in turn contains 10,000 subdirectories, bar/ will have a link count of 3. The link count does not provide the information you are attempting to divine. – Kevin Sep 9 '16 at 6:29
  • 1
    In any case, you have to use something like find -size -8192c to find files smaller than, say 8 kB (half the default bytes per inode) – ilkkachu Sep 9 '16 at 8:59

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