Explanation of "Over disk quota" notification - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content

Explanation of "Over disk quota" notification

Why did I get this message?

You received this notification because you are using 3GB or more of space on the undergrad/instructional UNIX home directory server.

Are these files I use on my PC?

These are not the files that are used for your "home drive" or main folder on your Windows desktop machine. However, you may access them as a share from the UNIX Samba server.

Where is this space?

It is accessible from your UNIX account. If the report is for /u/u90 and your login is doctorno, then the files are in /u/u90/doctorno.

What can I do about it?

You can get information on your current status with the quota command:

% quota -v
Disk quotas for user doctorno (uid 99901): 
Filesystem  blocks   quota   limit   grace   files   quota   limit   grace
/dev/md1   1575672* 1572864 2097152    none   21512       0       0        

You should try to locate the files in your folder that are taking up the most space. You may already know what these are, or suspect. If you don't know, you can start by trying to find the largest folders

When logged in on the console of a lab machine (linux), you can run the disk usage app (/usr/bin/mate-disk-usage-analyzer)

If you are logged in remotely using a shell command interface, or just prefer command line tools, you can use the following:

% cd  /u/u90/doctorno
% du -sk .??* * | sort -n

This will give you a list of the folders with the biggest at the end. The number in the left hand column will be the number of blocks used in the folder (and all sub-folders). The .??* pattern will get the "hidden" folders (names that start with a "."). Common "hidden" folders that take a lot of space are .android, .cache, and .config, but Linux developers are busy coming up with more.

Note: the .??* pattern will not match a "hidden" folder with only a single letter name, like .a, but it will cover typical circumstances while avoiding matching .. (parent folder) which would cause problems.

Within each folder, you can get a listing of the files with

% ls  -sC1F  |  sort  -n

The number to the left of each entry is the number of blocks. Entries that have a "/" at the end of the name are subfolders. The largest will be at the end of the list. If you only want the top ten, you can add "| tail" at the end of the commands above.

You may find the command /homes/trinkle/bin/biggest helpful. It runs the du command and helps organize the output.

When you find large files you need to determine what to do about them. If they were temporary files that you don't need any more, just delete them. If they are old files that you want to keep, but never (or almost never) look at, they are probably good candidates for putting on a thumb drive.

But I need these files!

If your space is used by third party software you have installed in your home folder, you should move it to your scratch folder.

You should not be installing the Android SDK in your home folder. It is available on CS Linux machines in /p/android-sdk/. Use that copy for your CS coursework.

If you are copying large data files that do not need to be modified for a course project from a course account directory (either from someplace like /homes/cs240 or from an instructor's directory), you can replace them with a symbolic link to the source file instead.

If it space used for research work with a CS professor, you should request access (from the professor) to that professor's research system to support your sponsored research.

If it is your personal music or video (even if it is legal), backups of your home personal machines, etc. or otherwise not directly related to your CS academic work, it should not be on your CS instructional account.

Last Updated: Oct 31, 2023 1:55 PM

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