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Disk quotas

Quotas explained

A "disk quota" is a maximum limit on the amount of disk space which can be used. Many accounts have a disk quota on their home directory.

How do I check my quota?

All home directories are on AFS. Use either of the following commands to check your current quota:

fs lq -human

Dynamic AFS quotas explains the difference between the current quota and the maximum quota.

How big is my maximum disk quota?

Home Directory

  • UG1/UG2 – 4GB
  • UG3/UG4/PGT – 10GB
  • Staff/PGR – 10GB

These are "maximum quota" figures. Since we are running with dynamic quotas your current quota may actually be less. However it will automatically increase as your disk usage increases. See dynamic quotas for details.

Web homepages

  • PGR – 20MB
  • Staff - 50MB

Web homepages use the NFS filesystem. Use the following command to check your web quota:

quota -v

How can I get my maximum quota increased?

Staff and research postgrads: if you require more quota, contact support with an estimate of how much space you require.

Fourth Year Undergrads and MSc students: we will only increase your maximum disk quota if you need more space for your project. Please ask your project supervisor to contact support with an estimate of how much space you require.

Please note that we do not increase quota to accommodate coursework. The disk quotas required for coursework are agreed with teaching staff before the start of the academic year.

I am locked out of my account as I am over quota.

You will need to delete a large file/folder that you no longer require in order to free up some space - for example, empty your Downloads folder. There are different ways to manipulate your homedir files:

On the web
If you have web access from another device, log into

Command line
You can login in to the front of a DICE machine without using the graphical interface. Press the Ctrl Alt F2 keys together to get a text login prompt. You can then login and manipulate your files via the command line. When you have finished deleting files, logout and return to your window manager login by pressing the Ctrl Alt F1 keys together. [Note: With the move to Ubuntu, these CTRL-ALT key presses don't always work, it depends on the graphics card installed in the machine. If it doesn't work for you, try a different model of machine]

I'm over my disk quota. What can I do about this without deleting important files?

Don't worry; there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the amount of disk space you use, without having to delete things you need.

  • First of all, empty your Desktop Wastebasket, and your Downloads folder.
  • Browser cache directories can grow large. To empty Firefox cache, go to History -> Clear Recent History; set Time Range to Clear to Everything, tick Cache and click Clear Now. It's a similar process for Chrome.
  • A useful command to see your disk usage is du. To see the options available type:
    man du
  • To see the size of each and every file in your home directory type:
    du -kh --exclude=Yesterday ~ | sort -h
  • You can exclude ~/Yesterday as this does not count towards your quota - this directory is a backup where you can retrieve a file from the day before if you find you have accidentally deleted something.
  • Go to each of your practicals directories in turn, and tidy up a bit. Delete files whose names end in the ~ character. Those are extra backup copies made automatically when you edit a file. Delete files with names ending in .class - those can be re-made from the .java files. On the files that remain do
    file *

    This tells you what each file does. You can probably delete files marked as "executable" files, because these can also be re-made later on if you want to, just by compiling the practical again. Finally, type:

    gzip *

    This compresses the files which are left so that they take up less space. When you next want to use the files you'll first need to uncompress them again using:

  • Remember you can check how much quota you are using:
    fs lq -human
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