Extra disk space

Getting extra file space

All requests for any type of additional disk space must be made through your supervisor. They will need to email System Support and include the following details:
  • How much extra space?
  • What purpose is it for?
  • How long is the extra space required?

Types of space available

Additional Home Directory Quota

Additional Disk Quota for teaching/research purposes can be requested through your supervisor. Generally, additional space beyond a few gigabytes is not allocated on a central fileserver. You will need to use your local computer instead.

Second home directory

If you have (or it is deemed appropriate that you should have) access to one of our computing clusters, arrangements can be made to give you a second home directory on the cluster in question, for storing data related to your work on that cluster. This is arranged on an individual basis between your supervisor, System Support and yourself.

Scratch space

If you only require temporary space, or space for non-critical data, you can be given some scratch space on an appropriate file server. This will not be backed up — so will likely be completely lost in the event of a disk failure. Scratch space is available on our computing clusters, or very rarely, one of our other servers.

Other ways to get extra space

Use your UNSW home directory

UNSW provides a home file space (called "Home Drive") to all personnel and students. You get this in addition to your CSE home directory. See our FAQ page or how to use it.

/tmp and /var/tmp

These are standard directories on every Linux computer where files are kept for a short time. Many of the programs you run already use these directories to hold temporary files.

The directory /tmp is generally emptied on every reboot. The directory /var/tmp keeps its files after a reboot and in many cases has more free space.


  • Those directories are local to each computer. One computer does not normally access another's /tmp directory.
  • Files in those directories are not backed up.
  • File access is local and therefore fast.
  • Filling these directories with personal files may interfere with how others use the computer. Your are expected to clear away files that you are no longer using.
  • If files in tmp directories are causing a problem then they may be removed by the system administrator without warning.
Last edited by robertd 15/06/2017

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disk, extra, quota