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Re: /var/lib/apt/lists/partial fills entire partition

On 9/1/15, Elimar Riesebieter <riesebie@lxtec.de> wrote:
> * Tony van der Hoff <tony@vanderhoff.org> [2015-09-01 14:17 +0200]:
>> On this jessie box I have started to see /var/lib/apt/lists/partial
>> gradually filling the entire 2.7 GiB /var partition with hundreds of
>> smallish files. Google show some results for a similar, but not
>> identical problem for Ubuntu but I can't find anything matching this.
>> This problem has developed over the last few days.
>> A partial directory listing is attached (to circumvent wrapping).
>> Can anyone suggest a remedy to this problem, please?
> Try
> # apt-get clean
> From apt-get(8):
> clean clears out the local repository of retrieved package files. It
> removes everything but the lock file from /var/cache/apt/archives/ and
> /var/cache/apt/archives/partial/.
> So after an apt-get update /var/lib/apt/lists/partial should be
> recharged at least to zero size.

Let us know if it starts filling back up again. I'd already started an
answer and had to run outside and... put the trash can on the curb.
Part of that answer was to say that location is where at least apt
(via apt-get update) temporarily stores "partial" files as its
downloading updates from our *_CHOICE_* of repositories. If partial
continues magically self-propagating and not emptying, obviously
something needs dissected/triggered/toggled off if it's not you
manually, consciously performing related [functions] that would result
in that activity.

If you use something other than apt (apt-get) to update your software,
do they offer the option to update automatically? Maybe that's toggled

I'm just... looking at your output there and comparing it to mine.
Your partial for this one, e.g.:

4584913 Sep  1 13:58

You're talking about a zip file that got hung up there for some
reason. Maybe it's not completely downloaded so then you have to track
down why...

Or maybe the system's not finishing the transaction after a successful
download for some reason?

In my case, I've actually sat here and watched it run live. Those
partials *APPEAR* to become what's in the next step up, the parent
directory, /var/lib/apt/lists.

So the question is potentially two-fold. Why is there SO MUCH of that
activity if user is NOT manually/knowingly generating it.... and/or
why is the process not completing successfully if it's a legitimately
approved auto-update?

Speaking firsthand, one way it MIGHT happen is if someone is on
something like dialup or alternately if they only access the Internet
sporadically (i.e. disconnect unexpectedly throughout the day). Those
update related downloads would get interrupted, and that MIGHT be one
cause for what's showing in OP's partial directory.

My take on this is coming from firsthand experience rather than
knowing how Debian technically works. I've seen something like OP's
directory happen on my system but can't remember the exact
circumstances now. In my case of being on dialup, the appearance has
occasionally been that a repository's server has cut updates off
because the server's tired of struggling under the 967 BYTES download
rate on my end......

Cindy :)

PS Ok, I just checked my inbox one more time before sending this.
Elimar and David replied with David's thought being similar to my own.
Compression was a word I was actually looking for. Like something's
not completing there that should be so that those files are
decompressed and then magically manipulated together to become what's
housed in the /var/lib/apt/lists parent directory... :)

Cindy-Sue Causey
Talking Rock, Pickens County, Georgia, USA

* runs... behind an ~80-year-old push reel mower *

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