What's left to clean? Low space

Beachguy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 23, 2011
1,007
402
Florida, USA
Macbook Air 2011, 120 GB SSD, 4GB RAM, i5 1.7Ghz, High Sierra

I am down to less than 30GB free storage. I've removed everything I feel safe removing- spare browsers, development environment I no longer use, etc. I've succeeded in only freeing up under 8GB and I am out of stuff I know I can delete. The system portion is using 65 GB, which seems too high to me; I used to not have so little free and had many more apps installed. I am out of ideas, and nothing much I've seen on the internet has helped. No movies, no MP3s, and all my JPGs are moved off. I checked and there are no iTunes backups of my phones or iPads (according to iTunes, although I was sure there were.)

Ideas?.
 

whosthis

macrumors member
Aug 21, 2008
85
21
You can use tools like DaisyDisk to visualize where your space is going.

But really, 120 GB is on the small side, and if you have 30 GB free, where's the problem? :)
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,132
8,805
California
Run this in Terminal and tell us the result. This will show size in GB of the base folders, including system and hidden folders some of the scanner apps won't show.

Code:
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
 

Beachguy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 23, 2011
1,007
402
Florida, USA
Run this in Terminal and tell us the result. This will show size in GB of the base folders, including system and hidden folders some of the scanner apps won't show.

Code:
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
sh-3.2# sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
0 /.HFS+ Private Directory Data
1 /home
1 /usr
1 /.Spotlight-V100
1 /net
0 /.PKInstallSandboxManager-SystemSoftware
1 /bin
1 /Incompatible Software
0 /Network
1 /sbin
7 /Library
0 /.Trashes
13 /System
1 /vm
1 /.fseventsd
du: /private/var/db/ConfigurationProfiles/Store: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/0/SafariFamily: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/0/com.apple.LaunchServices.dv: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/0/com.apple.nsurlsessiond: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/0/com.apple.routined: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/C/com.apple.WebKit.WebContent.Sandbox: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/C/com.apple.WebKit.Networking.Sandbox: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/zz/zyxvpxvq6csfxvn_n00000y800007k/0/com.apple.nsurlsessiond: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/dd/shql8_1x48d731jb113qglzh0000gp/0/com.apple.LaunchServices.dv: Operation not permitted
28 /private
1 /.DocumentRevisions-V100
0 /.vol
15 /Users
18 /Applications
0 /opt
1 /dev
1 /Volumes
0 /cores
81 /
81 total
sh-3.2#
[doublepost=1563063403][/doublepost]
But really, 120 GB is on the small side, and if you have 30 GB free, where's the problem? :)
Yes it is, and that said, I didn't want a large space because of the reasons I bought this- 8 years ago, that is. What concerns me is that it has a growing amount of space used, even though I have deleted apps and pictures, and other such things. And the problem is that I have had low disk warnings which are transient. It was consistently at about 50 GB free until a few months ago, and even though I was deleting things, it had less storage available.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,356
4,330
Gourd City
This line:
Code:
28 /private
tells me you have 28GB of space being used in /private. Among other purposes, that's where a lot of temporary files can be created.

I suggest doing a Safe Boot, which should remove or rebuild a lot of temp, cache, and other stuff that might have become overgrown.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201262

If that doesn't fix the problem, try this command-line in Terminal, then copy and paste the output here:
Code:
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /private

I also find it odd that even though the command was run with 'sudo' and thus should be able to access everything, there were a fair number of "Operation not permitted" errors.

You might do well to run Disk Utility.app when booted into Safe Mode, and do a Repair on that disk to see if it makes any changes.
 
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Beachguy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 23, 2011
1,007
402
Florida, USA
I also find it odd that even though the command was run with 'sudo' and thus should be able to access everything, there were a fair number of "Operation not permitted" errors.

You might do well to run Disk Utility.app when booted into Safe Mode, and do a Repair on that disk to see if it makes any changes.
Actually, if you look closely, you can tell I actually ran it as root. **GASP**

I will try your suggestions immediately.
[doublepost=1563233951][/doublepost]Ran du anyway. Look familiar?

sh-3.2# du -d 1 -x -c -g /private
1 /private/etc
du: /private/var/db/ConfigurationProfiles/Store: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/0/SafariFamily: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/0/com.apple.LaunchServices.dv: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/0/com.apple.nsurlsessiond: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/0/com.apple.routined: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/C/com.apple.WebKit.WebContent.Sandbox: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/mg/20bczkxj6hvd014klrbm61yr0000gn/C/com.apple.WebKit.Networking.Sandbox: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/zz/zyxvpxvq6csfxvn_n00000y800007k/0/com.apple.nsurlsessiond: Operation not permitted
du: /private/var/folders/dd/shql8_1x48d731jb113qglzh0000gp/0/com.apple.LaunchServices.dv: Operation not permitted
29 /private/var
0 /private/opt
0 /private/tmp
0 /private/tftpboot
29 /private
29 total
sh-3.2#

Thoaw directory listings appear to not exist. Which, of course, makes me wonder why they show up.

Off to run disk repair...
 

Beachguy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 23, 2011
1,007
402
Florida, USA
And.. after the safe boot and disk utility I have 30.1 GB free, so I did gain a few GB... maybe 3 or 4. Maybe it's just growth of the OS and apps, and expecting too much of this old Mac.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,356
4,330
Gourd City
The "#" as the shell prompt suggests the uid is root, but it's not a guarantee.

In the posted output, this line:
Code:
29 /private/var
shows there's 29 GB of space being used in that dir.

It may be consumed under "/private/var/folders", but there could be some sleep images or swap files under "/private/var/vm".

The command to find the next level of sizes would be:
Code:
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /private/var
This cmd might also produce something informative:
Code:
ls -ledO@ /private/var/db/ConfigurationProfiles/Store
The pathname being examined is one of the ones that produced an error in the posted output, and should be a public-readable directory.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,520
Download DiskWave from here:
https://diskwave.barthe.ph
It's small in size and free.

Open DiskWave and go to the preferences.
Put a checkmark in "show invisible files".
Close preferences.

The DiskWave window shows you all your drives in plain English (no ridiculous graphical formats).
Click on any drive.
Now, you'll see what's ON the drive, listed in order of "largest to smallest".
You can easily locate what's eating up your space.

What is it?
 

Macbooks Rock

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2019
13
8
Clean your browser cache, search for "storage management" using spotlight then click on "documents" and delete the biggest files you don't need, I don't know why your System taking up 60GB+ tbh, I have Mojave and it's only taking 24GB on my 120GB SSD.