Private Folder using up 45GB of space

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jynx21, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. jynx21 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2006
    Hi all

    I need some help - i realised i a big chunk of my hard drive space missing and couldn't find where it had gone. I downloaded Disk Inventory and ran the program. It shows that i have a folder called 'Private' within this are three sub folders:


    I have searched for all of these and can't find them on my hard drive anywhere. Can anyone tell me what these are, if i can delete them and if so how do i find them.

    Many Thanks in advance
  2. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    The private folder is in the root directory but is hidden. You can access it from the Terminal program. Type 'cd /' and then type 'cd ls' (w/out the single quotes) and you'll see. You'll most likely need to use the sudo command to do anything within /private.

    If none of this makes sense, then I suggest not mucking around as unix gives you plenty of rope to hang yourself without warning if you don't know what you are doing.

    Otherwise, you can use a tool like Cocktail to run the periodic maintenance scripts. That will clean up tmp, logs, and so on so that you get space back again.

    One other thing: most of the space used in /private is probably swap (virtual memory) and/or a sleep image file.
  3. jynx21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2006
    Thanks for the advice - havemanaged to clear about 30 GB - will run cocktail now.

  4. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Surely 45GB is outrageous for a sleep image or swap file? I wouldn't have thought either would be more than the size of memory, likely 4GB?
  5. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    The sleepimage will be the size of installed RAM. 8 GB on my system, but that's probably the largest file. Swap files could get pretty large. On my system.

    -rw------T 1 root wheel 8589934592 Feb 12 09:34 sleepimage
    -rw------- 1 root wheel 67108864 Feb 19 12:49 swapfile0
    -rw------- 1 root wheel 67108864 Feb 19 18:51 swapfile1
    -rw------- 1 root wheel 134217728 Feb 19 18:51 swapfile2

    Actually, they aren't really in /private, but in /var/vm. /private has a symbolic link to /var.

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