I have a 5TB drive attached via USB3 to machine running Xubuntu. The drive is formatted with a single NTFS partition. I'm trying to copy about 400GB of files to it, and it has way more than enough space as per the entry for /dev/sdb2 below:

df -hFilesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted onudev 32G 0 32G 0% /devtmpfs 6.3G 18M 6.3G 1% /run/dev/sda2 410G 319G 70G 83% /tmpfs 32G 152K 32G 1% /dev/shmtmpfs 5.0M 4.0K 5.0M 1% /run/locktmpfs 32G 0 32G 0% /sys/fs/cgrouptmpfs 6.3G 36K 6.3G 1% /run/user/1000/dev/sdb2 4.6T 275G 4.3T 6% /media/josh/5TB-2016-05-08

When searching for the source of this error a common problem raised was not having enough inodes, but that doesn't appear to be the problem here:

df -ihFilesystem Inodes IUsed IFree IUse% Mounted onudev 7.9M 570 7.9M 1% /devtmpfs 7.9M 867 7.9M 1% /run/dev/sda2 26M 679K 26M 3% /tmpfs 7.9M 7 7.9M 1% /dev/shmtmpfs 7.9M 5 7.9M 1% /run/locktmpfs 7.9M 16 7.9M 1% /sys/fs/cgrouptmpfs 7.9M 22 7.9M 1% /run/user/1000/dev/sdb2 4.3G 489K 4.3G 1% /media/josh/5TB-2016-05-08

I also ran across this. Even though the drive isn't really very close to have a TB written to it, I tried unmounting and remounting it with the inode64 option, but not joy (yeah, its different filesystem).

It doesn't matter if I copy all of the files at once, or do it directory by directory. Ultimately I start getting "No space left on device" errors before all of the files are copied.

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put on hold as off-topic by Mokubai 2 days ago

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check to see if it is mounted as read only– BeowulfNode42Jan 14 at 7:24
I don't know how to do that, but I am able to copy and delete files on that drive.– Josh HeitzmanJan 14 at 7:41
You say it is formatted as NTFS, but can you show it just to be sure?– MokubaiJan 14 at 8:50
You can have "sparse files" (large files with unallocated bocks)(see du --apparent-size). You can also have hard/soft links that result in files being actually duplicated on the target.– xenoidJan 14 at 9:29
All of the files are unique. No links are used (i.e. everything has just been a simple copy). I got a similar amount of free/used shown when the drive is connected to a Windows box.– Josh HeitzmanJan 14 at 9:56

When I connected the drive to a Windows box, I found the parent directory of the destination directory had compression turned on. Turning compression off for that folder and reconnecting to the Xubuntu box allowed the entire set of files to be copied successfully. Of course this means that more space was used than when previous attempts had failed near the end of the copy with a "No space left on device" error. Seems like there was some failure related to compression that was not clearly communicated.

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