- System -
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You have probably noticed that when you start your 'System Monitor' (System>Administration>System Monitor) there's a difference between free and available space. Reason for this is the fact that 5% of your partition is reserved for root so if the disk gets full you can boot to recovery mode and have enough room to move around. The thing is that you don't need more than 50MB for this so 5% of today size partitions is really way to much.
I have partitions set up like following:
- system partition 15GB
- swap partition 512MB
- documents partition rest of disk
As you can see i don't use separate partition for /home. Swap partition is obviously of no meaning here so we will ignore it. On your documents partition there is no point to this reserved space so we will set it to 0%. On my system partition I have left 1% of disk reserved for root. As I said, anything more than 50MB should be enough but considering today's disk capacities set it between 100MB and 200MB. 1% of mine 15GB is 150MB and thats how much I left for root.
Now you're probably waiting for me to tell you how to reduce this root reserved space. We will use tune2fs command. Before you can do this you will have to unmount partition you wish to edit. Your documents partition can be unmounted easily (I'll explain in a second) but your system partition obviously can't be unmounted so you'll have to use live CD to boot and do the procedure from that live CD.
Here is how you unmount the partition, type:
sudo unmount device_name
where the device name of partition can be seen in 'Device' column of 'System Monitor's' 'File Systems' tab. For example:
sudo umount /dev/sda3
Now, to reduce the amount of space reserved for root type:
tune2fs -m 0 device_name
This will reduce the root reserved space to 0% or nothing. To reduce it to 2% for example type:
tune2fs -m 2 device_name
And thats all. Don't forget that you can't unmount system partition on which you're working at the moment so for this case use live Ubuntu CD.