Resource quotas policy

Computing Resource Quotas Policy

See also the Quota Questions FAQ.

Summary of Policy

Users do not have unlimited access to CSE's computing resources. Base quotas are set in appropriate classes in the User DataBase (UDB) for the various categories of user at CSE. Additional quota must be requested from System Support or purchased.

History of Policy

  • 12 April, 2005 - First revision in online form. Substantial base disk quota increases for most classifications.
  • 19 Jun, 2006 - Added new proposed numbers
  • 27 Oct, 2008 - Updated with latest numbers
  • 27 May, 2013 - Updated with latest numbers
  • 01 Mar, 2018 - Updated with latest base-quota numbers
  • 01 Jul, 2019 - Updated with latest class numbers

Who This Policy Applies To

All CSE IT users

Who Maintains This Policy

Computer Support Group, CSE Computing Committee

Policy Description

This policy is broken down by user classification. Some users will fall inside several classifications. All users should fall under at least one classification (otherwise they wouldn't have any resources).

Base allocations

Current allocation numbers:
Classification Disk Quota
Staff / Visitor / Conjoint2000MB
Postgraduate research student 1000MB
Undergraduate CSE Program student 500MB
Undergraduate Non-CSE Program student 500MB
Undergraduate thesis student 500MB
Enrolled in a CSE subject 350MB *
Casual tutors (base) nil
Casual tutors 100MB *
Student Executive (societies) 100MB
Courtesy accounts 200MB
(*) These allocations are received per subject. General Notes:
  • Students get quota once for being in a program, and again for each course (subject) that they are enrolled in.
  • Some subjects have special needs, and thus may have additional resource quotas

Additional allocations

The following guidelines are to help People.SystemSupport handle additional resource requests. The numbers are given as Maximum/Suggested increments. The maximum is inclusive of the base allocation. The suggested increments are for when there is no clear need for a larger increment (up to the maximum). Disk quotas are for primary fileservers.
Classification Disk Quota
Undergraduate thesis students ? (1GB/100MB,250MB,500MB)
Postgraduate research students 2GB/100MB,200MB,500MB,1GB(2GB/500MB,1GB)
Staff/Visitor/Conjoint 5GB/100MB,200MB,500MB,1GB,2GB(5GB/1GB,2GB)
  • All student requests must be approved by the student's academic supervisor.
  • All staff requests must be approved by the staff member's supervisor, if applicable.
This approval represents an acknowledgement that the person's research/function requires the additional resources. In some cases, additional funding may be requested to cover the resource costs. When a user requires further disk quota, they will need to move their home directory to another machine. A rough guide for such home directories is 1GB base, up to 10GB maximum. Unlimited space (up to disk size) can be used if a scratch space is allocated. A scratch space is not backed up, but also not quota-ed.

Checking your current allocation

Disk Quota

You can check your current disk quota, and current disk usage by running the disk_guess command. Typical output of this command will look like the following: You are currently using 8880K which is below your quota of 22528K Your 6 biggest files are: <list of files here> Your 6 biggest directories are: <list of directories here> It will also alert you to files which you may not wish to keep in your account, such as core files and .o files. You can get a less detailed output of your disk usage by running the rquota command. The acc explain=dlimit will also show you a breakdown of your quota, showing you why your quota is set to the value it is. If acc and rquota show different numbers, then you probably have a preserved disk quota, which is only temporary at the start of sessions to iron out ripples in quotas as class allocations vary.

IP Quota

IP usage at CSE is not quota'd, although usage is monitored for unusual or unacceptable activity.


When implementing quota increases, decrease additional quotas of all children by the relevant amount, so that any with additional allocations do not get further increases. For example, say old staff quotas were 200MB, and new 500MB. Also, employee abc has 600MB total disk quota (200MB + 400 additional). When staff quotas are increased, their additional allocation should be reduced by 300MB to keep the total balanced. Resulting in 500MB + 100 additional. Also take note to apply the above to sub-classes as well as users. Subjects with extra quota allocations should be equivalently balanced.

Technical Notes

Relevant UDB fields (all are cumulative from subclasses):
  • Disk Quota: dlimit, plus the following which should never be used directly: temporarydlimit, preservedlimit
  • IP Quota: ipqbase, ipqequinox, ipqsolstice. Additional allocations are stored in the IP Quota system.
Last edited by pmr 19/07/2019

Tags for this page:

quotas, resources