One of the pros — or cons, depending on how you look at it — of everyone being at home is that when any of the kids has a computer problem, I am unavoidably available. Today we had problems aplenty.
We got the boys some cheap Dell laptops some time ago, installed Ubuntu on them and set them going. The point has now been reached when, for all three boys, these laptops are being used primarily for school work (or school related activities). So running out of disk space is a serious problem.
Today, one of the laptops ran out of disk space.
My first reaction was to ask how many webcam videos and screen recordings they had been making, but it turns out that the problem was deeper than that — too many old packages clogging up the disk drive. I found the commands necessary to clean up these packages easily enough and set about some vastly overdue laptop maintenance.
This is when the fun began. When I tried to use
apt-get autoremove to free up some disk space, it told me that it couldn’t do that because I had some broken dependencies. When I tried to fix these, it told me it couldn’t do that because I didn’t have enough disk space.
And it all started looking a bit painful and the boys quickly learned that IT support largely involves copying and pasting error messages into your search engine of choice and then doing the same back into the terminal.
Everything is now resolved and I have promised to keep a closer eye on the boys’ technology. On the plus side, I now know how to manually remove old kernels in Ubuntu.