How to fix “e514: write error (file system full?)” Error in Linux

The “e514: write error (file system full?)” error message in Linux can be a head-scratcher, especially when your file system isn’t actually full. Let’s delve into the cause and the solution.

Understanding the Error

This error pops up when you try to edit a file within the /sys directory. This directory, known as sysfs, acts as a virtual file system, providing a user-friendly way to interact with the Linux kernel’s internal objects.

The key point here is that sysfs is different from traditional file systems. It doesn’t contain regular files like documents or images. Instead, it serves as a bridge for viewing and interacting with kernel objects. So, attempting to directly edit files under /sys will result in the “e514” error.

Read: How to Access Recovery Mode in Ubuntu Linux 22.04

Identifying the Root Cause

When you encounter this error, the first step is to confirm if your file system is truly full. Use the df -h command to check disk usage in a human-readable format. If your file system has ample space, the problem likely lies with the specific file or directory you’re trying to modify.

Resolving the Error

The solution involves finding the proper method to modify the targeted kernel object. This will vary depending on the specific file or directory you’re working with.

For instance, if you’re editing a file under /sys/class/powercap/intel-rapl/intel-rapl:0, you’ll need to consult the Intel RAPL Interface Documentation. This documentation provides details on interacting with the Intel RAPL interface.

In general, it’s always recommended to consult the relevant documentation or guides to find the correct approach for modifying the desired kernel object. A simple online search using the specific file or directory name should lead you to the necessary information.


The “e514” error might seem like a storage issue, but it actually has to do with a special part of Linux called sysfs. Since sysfs works differently than regular storage, editing files directly there won’t work. The good news is, with a quick check and some online searching for the specific file or directory you’re trying to change, you can find the right way to adjust the setting you need. So next time you see this error, you’ll know it’s not about freeing up space, but about using the proper tools for sysfs.


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Nikolaus Oosterhof

Nikolaus holds a degree in software development and has a strong passion for all things tech-related, especially gadgets with screens. Though he is nostalgic for older phone models, he's a retired gamer and continues to enjoy programming in open-source environments. Additionally, Nikolaus enjoys writing about Linux, macOS and Windows and has experience designing web pages.

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