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UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [File Quotas]

UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [File Quotas]

Question: What are my storage quotas?
Author: Joseph Tam
Date: Nov. 9, 2010

Storage quotas are enforced on our MathNet systems to ensure a fair distribution of a shared resource. It also prevents accidental (runaway programs) or intentional (packratting) usage of all storage space that deny all other users of disk space.

Typical storage quotas

As of the writing of this document, the typical disk use quotas are

Data Limit
Home directory 5Gb
Email inbox 400Mb
Personal web directory 1Gb

Checking your storage quotas

To check on your current quota and disk usage, you can use one of two methods.

  1. Web page: quotas are reported on the MathNet User Services site. Log in using your username and password.
  2. Unix command line: to check your quotas and usage, log in to any of our public Unix servers, and this command:
    Output may look like:
    Filesystem     usage  quota  limit  timeleft  files  quota  limit    timeleft
    /nfs/mail      41576 512000 512000                0      0      0            
    /nfs/HomeWeb       0 524288 524288                0     -1     -1            
    /nfs/jsmith    21844 2097152 2097152           1657     -1     -1            

    In this particular case, user jsmith is using 41576K out of a maximum 512000K (=512Mb) of mail inbox quota, as well as 21844K out of a maximum 2097152K (2Gb) in their home directory. No space is being used in their personal web folder.

    This information should also be displayed each time you log into a Unix account.

What to do when you are running out of space

If you find that you are close to exceeding your file quotas, you may request an increase in quotas from the IT staff, but before you do this, you ought to trim your use of disk space by

  • Getting rid of unwanted or duplicate files.
  • Getting rid of files that can be regenerated (e.g. *.dvi, *.ps, etc. but retain the original *.tex file).
  • Getting rid of core dump file (usually named "core" or "core.#" where # is a number).
  • Getting rid of cache/backup files generated by various applications.
    • .Trash/*: Gnome desktop trash.
    • ~/.mozilla/firefox//Cache/*: Browser caches
    • ~/.java/deployment/cache/*: Java caches.
    • Trash, mail/Trash: Email trash?
  • Email:
    1. Deleting unwanted mail, spam. The quickest way to slim down a mailbox is to sort it by size, then go through the Email in decreasing size and eliminating in that order. Usually, the majority space is taken up by a few pieces of Email with large attachments.
    2. Transfer mail from your inbox to a mail folder.
  • Transferring seldomly used or achival data onto some other medium (CD, DVD), then deleting it from your file storage area.

If you have trouble tracking down disk usage, you can use some of thase commands:

	# Go to your home directory and summarize storage use of all
	# files and directory at the top-level.  You can then descend
	# into the folders using the most space and refine the search.
	du -sk .[^.]* * | sort -n

	# List 10 largest files over 1024K anywhere within your home directory.
	find ~ -type f -size +1024 -printf "%s %p\n" | sort -n | tail -10

	# Sort all files in the current directory and sub-directories by size.
	find . -type f -printf "%s %p\n" | sort -n | less
Usually, there are a few large directories that account for most of the storage, so concentrating your effort on reducing storage in these areas will be the most effective way of reducing storage.