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I installed both Ubuntu 16.04 and Windows on my Laptop, but on different disk partitions.

I accidentally used up all space on the Linux disk when I set up a PostgreSQL database on it, and tried to import ~30GB data into it (the file might expand). Now my Ubuntu 16.04 cannot even start properly. e.g. I cannot even start terminal, and the Unity desktop does not show applications. After logging in my user, I basically cannot do anything.

So I booted from Windows and thought I might be able to free up space on the Linux disk from this system. But I'm not sure how. Windows seems to be working fine now, but I'm not sure if it will break later.

Any advice on this? Thanks!

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    What format is your Linux disk? You might be safer using a Linux Live USB. – harrymc Jan 1 at 19:49
  • @harrymc I actually am not sure. Very likely is ext4. – yuqli Jan 1 at 19:53
  • @harrymc I see your point. So the real issue is my Ubuntu does not work because disk is full. I found this thread already and will take a look superuser.com/questions/750782/… – yuqli Jan 1 at 19:58
  • Also this thread discusses how to mount a Linux file system from Windows : askubuntu.com/questions/9933/… – yuqli Jan 1 at 19:59
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I do not think that manipulating a Linux disk from Windows is safe, just as manipulating a Windows disk from Linux is also unsafe.

It is much safer to create a Linux Live USB, which you can do from Windows by using Rufus, a free and open source USB stick writing tool.

For details, see the Ubuntu tutorial Create a bootable USB stick on Windows.

  • Thanks! I see the partition with Linux is shown as "100% free" on Windows. It seems to not recognize Linux file system. I will look into Rufus. – yuqli Jan 1 at 20:03
  • Also, make an image of the ext4 partition before modifying it, i.e. deleting the large file. – DrMoishe Pippik Jan 1 at 20:03
  • Done. Thanks a lot for the prompt help! – yuqli Jan 1 at 21:07

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