Qube Runing Out of Space After Increasing Its Storage?

Hey guys! Its your local idiot again with I’m sure another question.

I’ve tried searching up and down for ways to increase/expand my storage on the Qubes. When first installed each Qube had the default stats/preferences of 10gb and 2gb.

Two of my Qubes started to fill up so I increased the storage as I seen in both tutorials and documentation. Thought all was good until I started getting another warning saying that the Qubes are running out of space.

Maybe I’m just not comprehending the whole “Private Storage/System Storage” when I look in the Qubes themselves.

What am I missing? I’ve managed to do so many other advanced things, following documentation, etc but this makes me feel like a 4 year old.

Someone have an ELI5?

Edit: To add to this - Say I install Qubes onto another Laptop/Desktop am I able to specify how much Qubes get by default during the installation or is that completely done after instillation?

Hi @MoldyTaint,

to begin with, let’s establish which of the two partitions (root or private) runs out of space. To do so, please open a terminal in the qube that is running out of space and run df -h. In particular we are interested in the Use% for Mounted on / and /rw.

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Hello @Sven

Thank you for your reply and help

The output for both / and /rw are this

/ says: Size (14G), Used (6.6G), Available (6.4G)

/rw says: Size (8G), Used (5.9G), Available (2.1G)

Edit: To add, the storage configuration for this Qube is 8G Private and 8.6G System

storage configuration for this Qube is 8G Private and 8.6G System

Nope. It is 14G for system (aka root) and 8G for private (aka user).

In which context did you get the “out of space” message. Have you been attempting to download a file > 2G? … in which case there wasn’t enough free space in your private partition to store it.

I would recommend increasing your private partition to 20G. It won’t consume any space until the storage is actually used, meaning if you only have 6G worth of data stored in private, then only 6G will be consumed. Think of the 20G as the limit the storage will be allowed to grow to automatically.

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Thank for your reply again, @Sven

So to give a bit of insight whenever I would try to copy a file/document to or from this Qube it would give me the out of space notification in the top bar near the rest of notifications.

I set most of my Qubes to 20G however I’m not sure why its still giving me these issues and that’s when I got a bit fedup and made this post.

Whenever I try to download something OR copy/move between Qubes it gives errors even though it doesn’t show full but shows it is in others?

At this point I’m about to reinstall the entire system and give it a fresh go. That’s partly why I was asking if I can set userspace up during installation.

Edit: If I set my template (Debian) to 20G is that what all the other Qubes that run from that template use collectively? So say Work, Untrusted, Personal, etc are all running off that Template… Do they ALL use that 20G space together?

If I set my template (Debian) to 20G is that what all the other Qubes that run from that template use collectively?

They use ephemeral copies of the system / root partition. These copies are discarded when the qube shuts down and a fresh copy is used when it starts again. In many ways the system / root partition of every qube is “disposable” based on the template.

The private/user partition however is per qube and not initialized with the private partition of the template. Whenever you create a qube it has a brand new private partition with always defaults to 2G. However you can easily increase it via the Qube Settings dialog or the command line.

Okay so Private Storage ≠ System Storage of the template that it is based off of?

So say Private Qube is Debian based and the Debian template has 10G I’m able to set that Qubes private storage say 20G? They don’t have coorolation to one another?

I apologize if that’s a bit confusing.

OK, the reality is more complicated but from a high level you can think about it like this:

  • a qube always has a root/system partition and a private/user partition
  • some qubes are templates
  • other qubes are based on templates
  • the root/system partition contains the actual system with applications etc.
  • the private/user partition essentially contains your /home directory
  • when you create a qube based on a template it gets a fresh private/user partition
  • when you start that qube it also gets a temporary copy of it’s templates root/system partion, which is discarded when the qube shuts down

→ any intentional changes to system/root need to be done in the template
→ any changes to the template’s user/private have not effect whatsoever on the qubes that are based of this template

Hence you can e.g. change a qubes template but not lose anything that is in your home directory.


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