I am running Elementary OS (5.1.6 Hera) on my laptop and everything was running fine. And then one day, I just couldn't log in. Entering the password just refreshed the screen and showed the interface for logging in again.
After doing a quick search online, I found out how to switch to Terminal
Ctrl + Alt + F1 and log in through there. I tried to run a
sudo apt-get update command to see if there were some updates that would fix the issue and got prompted with the error that my hard disk was full.
I ran some remove commands
rm -rf directory on some folders within the Downloads directory and that freed up some space. I rebooted, which took me back to the interface for the login screen and I could log in fine.
I have a 250 GB hard drive. The total size of contents in my home folder amounts to 4.6 GB. I had no idea what is / has filled the other 245 GB. I tried running a
sudo apt-get autoremove command and a
sudo apt-get clean command to see if that would help - but it barely removed anything.
After doing some digging, it appears that in the
/var/log directory there is over 200 GB of "stuff". Split between the file
syslog.1 - both weighing in at 100 GB each.
The Code app doesn't really want to open a 100 GB log file, so I've not really looked inside the log files to see what's happening. But why would Elementary OS do this? What would make it generate a set of such a massive log files that it fills my hard disk and disables the ability to log in?