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Home Directory Service

Managing Your Quota

To ensure that no user consumes all the available space on the Home Directory Service or on ITS's UNIX machines, ITS has placed maximum quotas on each individual's Home Directory account space. Quotas on the HDS do not affect how much information you can write to your own computer's hard disk, however.

Quota Size

All users of the Home Directory Service—undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff—have a maximum quota of 4 Gigabytes (GB) of space on Home Directory.

Symptoms of Running Out of Space

When you reach your Home Directory quota, you will not be able to write any more data to your directory. You will see an error message when this condition occurs.

  • On a Windows computer, you may see a warning message, or receive an email letting you know.
  • On a Macintosh, you may get a disk error.
  • On a UNIX machine, you would see the error: NFS write error on host 88.

Until you delete files or obtain additional space, you will be unable to save any new files or make any changes.

Checking Your Quota Usage

There are two ways to determine how much Home Directory space you have available and how much space you have used:

  • Through the Home Directory Service Accounts Maintenance page (Recommended)
  • Through the Terminal window (on a Mac) or the Secure CRT program (on a Windows computer), type the hdquota command; the information will be given in kilobytes or kb (For advanced users only)

Do not rely on your computer operating system for accurate information about your Home Directory quota.

Getting More Space

If you need more space than your disk quota allows, you have several options:

  • Use an alternate location for storing some of your files
  • Compress files you do not use regularly and delete unneeded files
  • Purchase additional disk storage space

More information about each option is below.

Alternate Storage Locations

Windows and Macintosh users who do not have a large enough quota to store temporary files should store them on their computer's hard disk. They can then copy only those files needed for long-term use over to the Home Directory Service for storage. (UNIX users can use the /tmp and the /bigtmp [on some ITS machines] areas of those systems to store files needed for only a very short period of time.)

File Compression & Deletion

File compression programs can also help alleviate some quota problems. But remember that once you compress a file, you usually cannot use that file again until you uncompress it back to its original size.

Users of Windows computers can obtain WinZip for file compression. UNIX users may use the gzip, compress, pack, or tar utilities to compress their files to a more manageable size. If you are over your quota, you will need to copy the file you want to compress to /tmp or /bigtmp and compress it there. Then delete the original, larger file from your account and move the compressed version from the temporary directory back to your Home Directory.

Purchase Additional Disk Space

Finally, you can lease additional disk space by the year. See the ITS Hosting website's Storage section for more information.

  Page Updated: 2015-12-17