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Fixing ‘No Space Left on Device’ Error When Installing Python Module with Pip

Ubuntu 18

When working with Python, you might encounter an error message stating “No Space Left on Device” while trying to install a module using pip. This error can be perplexing, especially when your device seems to have plenty of storage left. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this error and provide solutions to fix it.

Understanding the Error

The “No Space Left on Device” error typically occurs when your device runs out of space. However, in the context of installing Python modules using pip, this error can be misleading. The issue might not be with your device’s total storage but with the specific partition where pip is trying to install the module.

When pip installs a package, it first downloads the package, then extracts it to a temporary directory before finally installing it into the Python environment. If any of these directories run out of space, you’ll encounter the “No Space Left on Device” error.

Checking Disk Space

Before proceeding with the solutions, it’s essential to check your disk space. You can use the command df -h in the terminal. This command provides an overview of your disk usage.

df -h

The -h flag stands for “human-readable”, which means the sizes will be displayed in a format that’s easier for humans to understand (e.g., KB, MB, GB).

Solutions to the Error

1. Increase the Available Space on the System Partition

If your system partition is running low on space, you might need to free up some space. This can be done by deleting unnecessary files or resizing the partition.

2. Change the Temporary Directory

You can instruct pip to use an alternative folder for temporary files by setting the TMPDIR environment variable. This is particularly useful if your default temporary directory is on a partition with limited space.

TMPDIR=/path/to/new/tmp pip install module_name

In the above command, /path/to/new/tmp should be replaced with the path to your new temporary directory, and module_name should be replaced with the name of the Python module you’re trying to install.

3. Install the Package Locally

Instead of installing the package system-wide, you can install it locally using the --user flag. This will install the package in your user directory, which may have more available space.

pip install --user module_name

In the above command, module_name should be replaced with the name of the Python module you’re trying to install. The --user flag tells pip to install the module in the user installation directory.

Conclusion

The “No Space Left on Device” error when installing Python modules with pip can be a bit misleading. However, with a bit of troubleshooting, it’s a relatively straightforward issue to resolve. Whether you need to free up some space on your system partition, change your temporary directory, or install the package locally, there are several solutions you can try.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to ensure that you have enough disk space available before installing large packages. This can prevent a lot of headaches down the line.

What should I do if I encounter the “No Space Left on Device” error while installing a Python module with pip?

If you encounter the "No Space Left on Device" error while installing a Python module with pip, there are a few steps you can take to resolve it. First, check your disk space using the df -h command in the terminal. If your system partition is running low on space, you may need to free up some space by deleting unnecessary files or resizing the partition. Alternatively, you can change the temporary directory by setting the TMPDIR environment variable to a location with more space. Another option is to install the package locally using the --user flag, which installs the package in your user directory instead of system-wide.

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