MySQL ibtmp1 file grows exponentially

Recently we have had several servers run out of hard drive space causing inaccessibility and crashing. On further investigation the hard drive was full so many operations were complaining. The hard drive was being consumed by a very large file within the /var/lib/mysql directory called ibtmp1.

ibtmp1 is a temporary working file for MySQL. When you turn the MySQL server off and on again the file is deleted and the server runs again without issue until the file becomes too large again.

After some quick research we found that adding or editing a few settings in the MySQL configuration allows you to limit the size of this file and prevent this issue from reoccurring.

Open the mysqld.cnf file. The location of our mysqld.cnf was in /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.conf. According to the file you can also copy this configuration to /etc/mysql/my.cnf. Our my.cnf just had an include to the mysqld.cnf file.

The file should have some sections like:


There should be a section for InnoDB settings. If not, it is fine to add these configuration settings at the bottom of the file.

Here is the configuration variable:

innodb_temp_data_file_path = ibtmp1:12M:autoextend:max:1G

This value can be tweaked based on your server setup and needs but these are the settings we used for our server to set the file to start at 12 MB and limit it to 1 GB.

While setting this we also set a few other variables for optimisation:


Policy Proposal – Broadband

The Practical Party
Making practical policies to make everyones lives that little bit better.

Policy Proposal – Broadband / Internet Connectivity

Minimum broadband speeds
Every household and business will have a legal right to a minimum of 100Mbit internet connectivity, with a 5 year plan to increase this to 1Gbit. There will be a price-cap of £30 per household or business for this connectivity. If BT cannot achieve the FULL roll-out within a 2 year time-scale then a new regional network will be set up to offer 100% wifi coverage on a single network. It will be completely open and free to everyone in the whole country.

Data limits
All data caps both on mobile and fixed line internet connectivity are no longer permitted. There should not be a penalty for using the internet more.


NB. As always, we welcome your comments on all policy proposals.

Policy Proposal – Distance Learning

The Practical Party
Making practical policies to make everyones lives that little bit better.

Policy Proposal – Distance Learning

All classrooms will be equipped with webcams and microphones and will be available to the pupils from that classroom so that they can watch along from home in the event of travel disruption or any other cause for being unable to attend school whilst not physically unwell.


NB. As always, we welcome your comments on all policy proposals.

Policy Proposal – Road Gritting

The Practical Party
Making practical policies to make everyones lives that little bit better.

Policy Proposal – Road Gritting

All public service bus routes will be salted/gritted. Any road that Ulsterbus services travel along, with particular importance given to roads used by schools buses must be gritted as part of the normal Roads Service gritting routes.


NB. As always, we welcome your comments on all policy proposals.

Policy Proposal – School Holidays

The Practical Party
Making practical policies to make everyones lives that little bit better.

Policy Proposal – School Holidays

All school holidays will be set at a regional level so that ALL nursery units, primary schools and secondary school holidays will be at the same time.

A full timetable of holidays will be published a minimum of 3 years in advance on the Department of Education website.


NB. As always, we welcome your comments on all policy proposals.

Marshmallow Toaster Badge

I have commissioned a special badge with a goal of showing that the wearer is an expert at toasting marshmallows. In our scout troop, toasting marshmallows has almost become an art-form, and we hold regular troop-night competitions to start a fire and toast the best marshmallow.

If used in Scouting, at present it can only be worn on uniform for 1 year from the date of issue as a custom badge with approval from your county commissioner.

I will be requesting approval from the Scout Association to call this an official activity badge, they are not official activity badges, and does not have the scouting logo on the badge. I am obviously hoping the the Scout Association approves the badge and allows us to make it an official badge with the logo on it!

Its called the Marshmallow Toaster Badge.

Getting the badge

This badge is available for £1 each using the shopping button below. This covers the cost of making the badge, and a small amount of profit that is used to support our local scout troop.

15 badges or more Free shipping worldwide
14 badges or less £2.50 will be added by Paypal for Postage & Packaging

Buy the Marshmallow Toaster badge – Red edge, blue background

Top 10 things that signal Christmas is near in the UK

The Coca-Cola advert
The merry jingle and red lorry and lights really start to get us thinking that Christmas festivities with wine, cocktails and the inevitable soft drinks for the designated drivers are nearing. Its strange to think that its a marketing campaign that was thought up by Coca Cola because it has become so integral to the Christmas is nearing feeling.

Jamie Oliver Christmas cooking specials
Watching Jamie Oliver make incredible, tasty festive dishes is a sure-fire way to make you feel in the mood for Christmas. The only down-side is that whilst watching you will always feel hungry, so make sure you have some food to hand. Thankfully almost always shown on channels with adverts, so you can run to the kitchen for food top-ups every 15 minutes or so.

Mulled everything
If you can drink it, mull it. Mulled wine is the tip of the mulled iceberg when it comes to seasonal drinks in the UK. Cider? Is it December? You don’t want that cold do you? Of course not! You want warm mulled cider! If you can add cinnamon and orange to it, then its mulled. Yes, you can even get mulled beer. Re-enforce the mulled-ness by watching Nigella get tipsy when adding liqueurs to everything!

Cinnamon scented candles
Every supermarket and corner store becomes filled with Yankee Candles, and walk down any high street and you are sure to smell the wafting sparking cinnamon and winter berry combo’s. Ah the smell of Christmas.

Christmas jumpers
Seeing people walking around with woolly jumpers with snowflakes on them? That signals its November or early December. Everyone walking around in loud, green, red and sparkly wolly jumpers – its December, and if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping you should really get a move on.

Little oranges
Ah, the time of year when the fruit bowl empties of those summer fruits and is 90% clementine, satsuma and easy peeler oranges. Nothing signals Christmas so clearly as rejecting all other non-christmassy fruits in favour of the mini oranges.

Spiced coffees
In every coffee shop across the land you can now add flavoured syrups of everything cinnamon and berry related as well as other festive flavours. Dear help any coffee loving diabetics at this time of year as a single festive coffee or peppermint hot chocolate can contain twice the sugar of a can of coke.

All the dried fruit
Mince pies, mincemeat slices, mincemeat squares, mincemeat pastries, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding…. need I go on? If you don’t like raisins or dried fruit, good luck getting any baked goods that don’t contain them in the run up to Christmas.

Pigs in blankets
Mini-sausages wrapped in bacon. At no other time of year do we suddenly make little small portions of food we normally eat and then wrap them in another food. The variations are now huge, especially in hipster haunts where you can get small bowls of all different festive variants of these scrummy  treats.

Tins & tubs of sweets
Quality Street, Roses, Minature Heroes and Celebrations. If you don’t know what these are, then you have been living under a rock if you live in the UK.  There are lots of other new entrants too from Marks & Spencer, but the core 4 by Cadbury and Nestle are the staple sneaky snack and “I don’t know what to get you” gift. Every office and every home fills with these large tins of moorish sweets every December. Its almost like you can do a countdown to Christmas based on the number of tins/tubs that are around. Spot 1 tub somewhere every day, its the end of November or Early December. Spot 2 tubs per day, its most likely mid-December, and when there is one of each of the main 4 on the side, its Christmas Eve and you should be ready for the main event.