You can check your disk space usage with df, or particular folder df -sh.

You can check inode space usage by df -i (if you running caching server with file storage this will be often an issue)

Delete downloaded packages (.deb)

E.g.: already installed (and no longer needed)

sudo apt-get clean

Remove stored archives in your cache

E.g.: packages that can not be downloaded anymore, packages are no longer in the repository or that have a newer version in the repository

sudo apt-get autoclean

Remove packages after uninstalling an application

sudo apt-get autoremove

Remove old unused kernels

list all your kernels (installed and deinstalled) :

dpkg --get-selections | grep linux-image

your currently used kernel

uname -r

to remove particular kernel:

sudo apt-get remove --purge linux-image-X.X.XX-XX-generic

You can also run this script that will remove all unecesarry kernels, Be really carefull with this !!

dpkg -l linux-*  | \
awk '/^ii/{ print $2}' | \
grep -v -e `uname -r | cut -f1,2 -d"-"` | \
grep  -e '[0-9]' | xargs sudo apt-get -y purge
  • dpkg -l linux-* list all kernels
  • uname -r will tell you current kernel

when stuff goes wrong

clean up /boot partition

when you install kernel and you get error similar to this one:

update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.13.0-62-generic

gzip: stdout: No space left on device
E: mkinitramfs failure cpio 141 gzip 1
update-initramfs: failed for /boot/initrd.img-3.13.0-62-generic with 1.
run-parts: /etc/kernel/postinst.d/initramfs-tools exited with return
code 1
dpkg: error processing package linux-image-extra-3.13.0-62-generic
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit
status 1
No apport report written because MaxReports has already been reached
triggers for initramfs-tools (0.103ubuntu4.2) ...
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.13.0-62-generic

gzip: stdout: No space left on device

it may be you run out of space on boot partition

df /boot      # 100%
ls /boot
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1169023 May 26 20:18 abi-3.13.0-54-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1169023 Jun 18 01:14 abi-3.13.0-55-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1169201 Jun 19 10:30 abi-3.13.0-57-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1169346 Jul  8 04:00 abi-3.13.0-58-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1169346 Jul 24 23:11 abi-3.13.0-59-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1169346 Jul 29 12:40 abi-3.13.0-61-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1169478 Aug 11 15:51 abi-3.13.0-62-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1169421 Aug 14 22:58 abi-3.13.0-63-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   169832 May 26 20:18 config-3.13.0-54-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   169832 Jun 18 01:14 config-3.13.0-55-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   169832 Jun 19 10:30 config-3.13.0-57-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   169832 Jul  8 04:00 config-3.13.0-58-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   169832 Jul 24 23:11 config-3.13.0-59-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   169833 Jul 29 12:40 config-3.13.0-61-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   169833 Aug 11 15:51 config-3.13.0-62-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   169833 Aug 14 22:58 config-3.13.0-63-generic

Remove the old kernels like this:

sudo dpkg --purge linux-image-3.13.0-53-generic
sudo dpkg --purge linux-image-3.13.0-54-generic
# ...
sudo apt-get -f install # tell to continue installing the latest kernel
sudo apt-get autoremove

source of information