Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 13573
diff running out of temp space doesn't clean up
Last modified: 2008-05-01 11:37:56 EDT
This probably happened to me under RH 6.1, but I had just received my 6.2
copy, so I just did a fresh install rather than track down the problem.
The symptoms are that I was working just fine with X Window support
working, shut down my system for the night, and when I rebooted the next
morning I got a flickery display instead of the X Window signon screen.
After some digging, I determined that the cause of my X Window problem was
that xfs was not starting successfully. After some more digging, I
determined that the cause of xfs not starting successfully was that I was
out of disk space on /tmp. Looking there, I found one humongous temp file.
Thinking back on what I did yesterday that might have been out-of-the-
ordinary, the only thing I can think of was that I attempted to do
a "diff" of two huge text files. After quite a while, the diff exited with
the message that I had run out of "memory". It didn't say anything about
being out of disk space, but I conjecture that that's what it really
meant, and that it did not clean up its temp file, leaving it there,
leaving my root partition full, and preventing xfs from starting the next
I do not know whether this is a problem specific to diff or whether it is
based upon a library routine used by diff and other programs.
I just checked the code, and all the diff programs clean up their temp files
upon fatal errors, so it must have been some sort of different out-of-space