My /boot/efi/ became 100% full suddenly and this is how I resolved the issue
2020-09-25 4 min read
As the title says - a while ago I was doing something with my operating system Pop!OS and voila, all of a sudden my laptop threw me a pop up saying something like 'low disk capacity - /boot/efi 100% full, 0MB available'. Wow, thanks, that sounds quite alarming and not very fun. In fact, the Internet told me that /boot/efi has very much to do with rebooting and I did not want my computer to be a useless plastic brick, so intead of putting it off I decided to deal with it immediately, which did make me feel like I was finally a competent adult.
- How I identified the cause of the issue
(1) How I identified the cause of the issue
At this point, I was looking for a file/system that was around 200MB because I luckily remembered that last time I had seen the disk usage situation, /boot/efi was around 60% full. As shown in the image, /boot/efi/ was 100% full of 522MB. That means whatever used to not exist in /boot/efi is likely to be 200MB(= 522MB * 0.4).
So I took a look at what exactly was in each directories.
Okay, the contents of
Ubuntu-df28e3aa-886a-4bda-8ecf-a0ffbf0a34d2 look... kind of the same, at least from outside. So I ran
ls -lh to see if they are really the same size.
Alright, looks like
Ubuntu-df28e3aa-886a-4bda-8ecf-a0ffbf0a34d2 was created almost at the same time as /boot/efi got full and it was indeed 188MB which explained my math.
I did't need 2 pairs of
vmlinuz-previous.efi and apparetnly those in
Ubuntu-df28e3aa-886a-4bda-8ecf-a0ffbf0a34d2 were missing some file contents that were in
Pop_OS-df28e3aa-886a-4bda-8ecf-a0ffbf0a34d2. I decided to remove the whole
To do so, I ran
rm -rf Ubuntu-df28e3aa-886a-4bda-8ecf-a0ffbf0a34d2 which cleared 37% of /boot/efi space.
Just to make sure my machine would reboot properly without the files I just had deleted, I rebooted it and it indeed did reboot. Phew!
(5) Useful resources
These recourses helped me connect each dots of my knowledge as I am no OS expert nor a cs grad.
How to edit /boot/efi
What is the efi/esp partition?
cd into directory without having permission
sudo cd /var/named work?
EFI Partition vs /boot partition
What is UEFI Secure Boot?
UEFI boot: how does that actually work, then?
What are initrd.img* files?
Typos/comments/suggestions are welcomed on GitHub issues