Disk Quota

Disk quotas at CSE

The amount of disk space you can use in your home directory is limited. This limit is called your disk quota.

If files in your home folder take up too much disk space, you will be unable to save any more files (or changes to existing ones) until you free up space.

Checking your disk quota

To check your disk quota, open a terminal on a lab machine or login server and run the rquota command.

You should see something like the following: Disk quotas for user z1234567 (uid 12345): Filesystem space quota limit grace files quota limit grace /export/ravel/1 382M 620M 850M 9629 457k 513k

The numbers you care about are the first three:

  • space - Your current usage of allocated space(in MB)
  • quota - Your quota, with period of grace
  • limit - Your quota, hard limit without grace

If you are using less space than your quota, then you are fine.

If you are using more space than your quota, then you will need to delete some files.

Checking your quota on grieg

If you have a /srvr/ directory on grieg, you have a second quota for files there, separate from your home directory quota.

To check it, use rquota -f /import/grieg/1.

The output will be in the same format as the example above

Going over quota, and grace period

To prevent one file from suddenly preventing you from saving, there is a grace period system.

You can go over your quota for a week, but you cannot go over your limit.

If you exceed your quota:

  • You will receive a warning mail.
  • For one week, you will be able to store up to your limit.
  • After the end of that week, you will not be able to save anything until you go back under your quota

Finding files to delete

On a lab machine

One of the easiest ways to check where your space has gone is to run the baobab command on a lab machine.


Clicking the 'Scan Home' button will produce a graphical breakdown of the space usage in your home directory, allowing you to see which files and folders are taking up the most space.


Right-clicking an entry in the file browser pane will allow you to move it to the trash.


Note: Files in the trash are not deleted until you empty the trash.

Working remotely

baobab isn't available from the login servers, so you will need to take a slightly more primitive approach:

$ cd $ du -h -d1 .| sort -rh 1.9G . 279M ./.local 216M ./Personal 193M ./.config 188M ./Projects 175M ./public_html 161M ./Desktop 140M ./.eclipse 68M ./.npm 64M ./lib ... ...

This will give you a list of the folders in your home directory, with the biggest ones listed first.

(Note that the first entry is your entire home directory; you don't want to delete that one...)

You can then delete these as you see fit, using rm -rI <foldername>

Be careful, as files deleted this way do not go into the Trash, and cannot be undeleted.

(There may be backups available; if you make a mistake, contact System Support, who can check for you.)

The /unsw/ filesystem

If you have study-related files that you don't want to delete, but don't need to share with other users (and don't need particularly fast access), you can store them in /unsw/<your zID>/.

This is space made available by UNSW central IT, and does not count towards your CSE disk quota.

For more information, see this page.

Getting more quota

If you have cleaned up and moved everything you can, and you still don't have enough disk quota to perform your work, System Support can grant you more, on a case-by-case basis.

Contact your supervisor or lecturer, explain how much extra space you need and why, and ask them to request it on your behalf.

Last edited by pmr 15/06/2017

Tags for this page:

disk, quota, space