RT73 wifi driver on Debian 8 completely filled my hard disk with syslog messages

Just installed Debian Hamradio Pure Blend, and I thought a 20GB partition for / would be plenty, but after a day I was getting disk full errors. So I shrunk my /home partition and extended my / partition up to 50GB. A day later it was at 100% again (I had just deleted some log file files to free up some space):

kev@kh-debian:/var/log$ df -h

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda9        58G   53G  2.5G  96% /
/dev/sda10       20G  279M   19G   2% /home

Guessing something was up, I cd’d into /var/log to see what was showing up in my log files and was surprised to see this:

kev@kh-debian:/var/log$ ls -lS

total 49743852

-rw-r----- 1 root              adm  15123453253 Dec 24 18:37 syslog
-rw-r----- 1 root              adm  13204397200 Dec 24 18:37 kern.log
-rw-r----- 1 root              adm  12416440518 Dec 24 18:37 daemon.log
-rw-r----- 1 root              adm  10053382069 Dec 24 18:37 messages
-rw-r----- 1 root              adm    139506083 Dec 23 07:04 syslog.2.gz
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root              utmp      292292 Dec 24 18:33 lastlog

Ok, ok. That’s where my disk space has gone.

Looking in syslog, I’ve got these messages repeating about 100 times a second:

Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian wpa_supplicant[862]: wlan0: Failed to initialize driver interface
Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian NetworkManager[696]: <error> [1482634501.576472] [supplicant-manager/nm-supplicant-interface.c:856] interface_add_cb(): (wlan0): error adding interface: wpa_supplicant couldn't grab this interface.
Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian NetworkManager[696]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant interface state: starting -> down
Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian kernel: [ 2026.757616] ieee80211 phy0: rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Info - Loading firmware file 'rt73.bin'
Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian kernel: [ 2026.757646] rt73usb 1-7:1.0: firmware: failed to load rt73.bin (-2)
Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian kernel: [ 2026.757652] rt73usb 1-7:1.0: Direct firmware load failed with error -2
Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian kernel: [ 2026.757656] rt73usb 1-7:1.0: Falling back to user helper
Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian wpa_supplicant[862]: Could not set interface wlan0 flags (UP): Cannot allocate memory
Dec 24 18:55:01 kh-debian wpa_supplicant[862]: nl80211: Could not set interface 'wlan0' UP

 Following the install instructions here: https://wiki.debian.org/WiFi/rt73 – and then rebooted, problem solved. Log messages gone.

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