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How to empty trash?

On Mon, 14 May 2018 at 20:15, Bob <ubuntu-qygzanxc at listemail.net> wrote:

> Being a fairly new user to Linux/Ubuntu I did a stupid thing and do not
> how to get out of it.  I have a new laptop that I am trying to set up as a
> replacement of an old laptop.  I copied a my home directory from a
desktop that
> had an upgrade fail to the new laptop as backup before trying to recover
> desktop.  I did not check the amount of space needed and the laptop did
> have enough space so the /home partition ran out of space.  I thought no
> problem I would just get rid of the data I just copied.  Not having much
> experience with Ubuntu I just sent the data to trash and then tried to
> the trash.  That does not work as I found out as the system needs disk
space to
> empty the trash and there is none available.  To make things worse now
> /home has no space I get logged off after about 1 1/2 minutes so I have
> been able to do much experimenting in that amount of time.

> So how do I empty the trash and get the disk space back?

Well, there are several possible ways.

Firstly: do you have another copy of your backed-up stuff?

Secondly: is there a subset of the stuff you transferred you could delete
to save some space without losing everything? E.g. just the downloads


* boot off the live DVD/USB you used to install the laptop. Pick "try
Ubuntu". It will load to the desktop and you can use that to browse through
the files on the hard disk and selectively delete stuff.

* How big is the laptop HD? Is it totally full? If not, GParted (on the
live DVD/USB) might let you shrink your root partition and expand /home a
bit -- or if you don't have a separate /home, expand the Ubuntu partition a

Neither of those work?

* Command line way -- works but a high risk of disaster.

Where did you put the stuff you copied? Is it all in a single subdirectory
of your home folder?

E.g. if your user account was called bobb, it might be in

You could boot the machine, but *not log in*.

When it's at the login screen, press Ctrl-Alt-F1.

You can log in there. Same username and password.

Then type:

cd /home/bobb

(or whatever your username is)

That puts you in your home directory.


cd transfer

To move into the directory of stuff you transferred.

Make sure the prompt now says:

bobb at laptop:~/transfer

or whatever username at computername:~/yourfolder is.

(If you didn't put it all in 1 folder, if it's in Documents and Pictures
and Music and so on, do them one by one.)

Then if you wanted to get rid of everything, type, very carefully so you
make no mistake:

rm -rf *

If you can just delete 1 big file, that'll give you room to empty the bin...


cd /home/bobb
cd transfer
rm windows10.iso

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