General update 2019-02-15

Last week I had some issues with mainpc resulting in it running out of /tmp space which of course is caused or impacted by running out of space on the install volume and caused a number of user files in /home I was working on to become corrupted. I haven’t looked at the bigger question of how we can prevent issues like this from bringing down the whole system or how it actually happened. Instead I just chose to reinstall the system from scratch.
There was a delay to getting this done because issues with my internet here created problems for the Debian installer trying to connect to the local mirrors to download install files so in fact mainpc was down for something like 5 days but with the other computers available I was able to keep working to an extent with the main constraint being unable to access any files over the network shares from mainpc.
Key objectives of the reinstall include:
  • Recover the entire free space on the SSD for swap file. Previously an attempt was made to allocate half of the swap to Gimp specific temporary/cache allocation. This proved difficult to implement so I decided to revert the full space (99.9 GB) back to swap as Gimp does use this space to cache as needed.
  • Allocate /mnt to a separate partitition on the SSD like done to mediapc to ensure there is no possibility of a mount failure allowing files to be written to the SSD instead of a mounted volume on another disk filling up the install volume.
  • Allocate /tmp to a separate partition to ensure there is no possibility of a filling up of the rest of the root volume causing a disk space crisis for /tmp or vice versa.
With the system back up and running having rejoined to /home on the RAID-1 array and therefore reusing my existing user profile I gave attention to software reinstallation. The previous installation used the Debian packages for Thunderbird which installed the Daily channel build and caused problems with extensions like Lightning being incompatible and therefore unavailable. I chose this time to download Thunderbird directly from their site and install it directly into my user profile to save space on future reinstalls and ensure it is the Release channel which allows me to use Lightning again.
mediapc has had a new R/W share created in samba to give access to the Video Archive folder which contains a volume of material not in the media share and therefore I can work on the material in that folder from mainpc for convenience. mediapc is about to get various video editors installed as mentioned in a previous post some time ago.
So questions still remain over managing disk space in some of the areas of a typical Linux install and maybe I can address these.

I had a look at rearranging screens because the arrangement was less than optimum for mediapc. Basically at eye level I have four screens: two for mainpc and one each for serverpc and mediapc. Three of those are vertical to save space and keep them as close to me as possible without having to turn around too much. The problem is for video editing on mediapc you want it to be a horizontal aspect ratio for best use of space. However because mainpc and serverpc are used the most the screen layout suits them best and is not really set up for anything else so after trialling an alternative layout I decided to leave things as they are, except for the two 3 metre DVI cables I purchased which will now not be needed but still have to be paid for. At the end of the day the layout really only can be optimised for the two most used computers so video editing will just have to be improvised or I remote to the computer doing the editing from mainpc.