Our computers are put together for one thing, and one thing only – to run a theatre complex. And we give the users restricted logins that log them into a IceWM environment where they can’t do anything that they’re not supposed to. Everything on the machine is spec’ed for that purpose.
Today I get an urgent call – a site that is sort of a customer, and sort of a subsidiary had their system locked up, and when they tried to reboot, it complained that PostgresSQL wouldn’t start up. I’ve seen that happen before, so I asked their contact person to check if the root partition is full. Sure enough, it was. But of course they had no fucking clue how it could have filled up. “We didn’t do anything”, the constant cry of the clueless. I told them do to a “du -x | sort -n” on the root partition to see where the bulk of the files are. Turns out that there was 1.6Gb of stuff in /root/Desktop/Trash, and when they emptied the trash and rebooted, everything was fine.
I explained that our root partition is sized based on the premise that nobody would be logging into the console as root (I left out “unless they know what they’re doing”, because they obviously don’t.) They explained they “have” to do that because they have to preview the content that they’re preparing, and they can only do that as root.
I somehow resisted the urge to say “Either get a fucking clue or stop logging in as root”, and just responded “With great power comes great responsibility”. Next time they fill up the root partition and call me, I’m going to uninstall every desktop environment except IceWM.