[The techniques in this article should be performed carefully, and only by a fully qualified and inexperienced system administrator. -JP]
Q: Our Sun SPARCstation 1+ 4.1 OW2 started running very slowly. When I logged out, I got the message "/dev/null full: empty bit bucket."
A: The problem is that null is full. Your void space is no longer void; it's full up.
The top ways to empty an overflowing bit bucket:
Open the computer. Look for the bit bucket, find the red stopper at the bottom of it and open it over a large wastebasket.
Take the ethernet terminator off. Type the command:
cat /dev/null > le0
This spits the bits into the ether.
When you write to /dev/null, the 0's (zeros) don't take up any space, but the 1's (ones) do. Try writing a file full of 0's to /dev/null. Use binary 0, not ASCII 0; ASCII 0 will start overfilling the partition.
This is a common problem only if you use the computer. If you stop using it, it won't have many problems at all. Kick the other users off, too.
Run lots of C programs. They have null-terminated strings that will use up the extra bits in /dev/null.
Consider upgrading to a byte bucket or even a word bucket.
Bring the computer to Mr. Goodwrench. He will drain the bit bucket, change the oil, and add windshield fluid, all in 29 minutes or less. Now that's a deal.
- (We wish we knew who wrote this!)