Complete gconf / dbus / kde failure in Debian Squeeze

Mar 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Linux / Freebsd

Well today was a fun day of frustration as Debian just broke down completely and vomitted all over the place.  I’ll get the insanely simple solution later but let me tell you about the symptoms first.  Mainly that nothing bloody works.  When you log into an account from shell, IE: ctrl-f2 you are greeted with a page of command not found errors.  Such as

-bash: glib: command not found

-bash: place: command not found

-bash: move: command not found

as well as some other gems like LINES=25 OR COLUMNS=80; and so on and so forth.. The screen just fills with this goodnes right off the bat.

I also noticed that /tmp/kde-USERNAME wasn’t there, just dissapeared or wasn’t created in the first place

The next thing you’ll notice is that nothing runs properly and dbus isn’t starting.  I tried to run konversation from shell as was greeted by this error:

Cannot find the D-Bus session <unknown program name> bla bla bla. Did not receive a reply bla bla bla

Skype wouldn’t start, it just kept giving me this wonderful ‘Another skye interface may exist’ as soon as I logged in.

Tomboy just opened and closed opened and closed

My AWN docks were gone.  In summary a clusterfuck and I just assumed my hard drive was pooched.

It took me far too long to run a simple df command and see that I had zero bytes free on / and this bloody well servers me right for going with the default and very dumb partition structure of putting everything one partition.  Unlike my debian servers which I take great care of setting up fail safe partition structures, at home it appears I’m just a fricken lazy n00b.  Upon inspection I was delighted to find that I had 11GB of logs taking up over 1/2 of my partition space. kern.log was 3.9 GB, messages was 3.9 GB and syslog was 3.9 GB.  I remember when I moved over from ubuntu server to debian and noticed that messages was missing. At first I Was miffed, my beloved mssages log was no longer there.. Then I learned that messages was pretty much identifcal to syslog.  And not I see the full extent of the lunacy of having that stupid god damn messages file instead of just keeping everything in syslog.. Because instead of 3.9GB worth of useless logs I had 7.8GB of identifcal logs

Either way, I truncated those ridiculous logs, restarted and what do you know, everything works peachy keen.  So before you freak out too much, take a look at what could be an insanely easy solution and free up some space

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