UC Davis Information & Educational Technology

Disk Quotas

There is a special command you can use on the UNIX systems to determine the amount of disk storage space you are currently using. This command is quota -v. To interpret the results, there are some terms you need to know. The information on hard and soft quotas applies in a general sense to mail disk usage as well, but you will not be notified when you exceed either limit:

People using the pop servers (blue, green, scarlet, yellow, etc..) will not be able to use quota -v to determine their mail disk usage).
These people should use the Disk-Space Quota tool on the UCDavis Email website ( http://email.ucdavis.edu ).

  • HARD QUOTA: Your hard quota is the largest amount of disk space you can occupy. If you try to save a file and you have reached your hard quota, you will get an error message on the terminal telling you the system can no longer save information. THE FILE WILL NOT BE SAVED.
  • SOFT QUOTA: Your soft quota is typically 33% less than your hard quota, although this may not always be the case. If you try to save a file and you have reached your soft quota, you will get a warning message on the terminal reminding you that you are approaching your hard quota. You should begin removing unneccessary files.
  • TIME LEFT(mail disk usage): If your soft quota is lower than your hard quota, and you exceed the lower limit, but not exceed the hard quota, you will still be able to receive mail for a time. If your time limit expires, you will no longer be able to receive mail unless you remove enough mail to drop below the soft quota. Once you do drop below the soft quota, no time limit applies.

The following is a description of how to interpret the results given by the quota command. To see these results, type:
quota -v
at the command prompt.

bullwinkle% quota -v
Disk quotas for ez123456 (uid 9999):
Filesystem     usage  quota  limit    timeleft  files  quota  limit
/home6             0 100000 100700                  0      0      0
/home              0 100000 100700                  0      0      0
/home7           909 100000 100700                 66      0      0
Column titled "usage" is the total space your files are currently occupying. Column titled "quota (adjacent to usage) is your "soft quota". Column titled "limit" is your "hard quota" where no more may be added to your files. To see an ascii art representation of this same table go to: quota-table.txt

NOTE: Each of the numbers above is listed in kilobytes. You can use the conversion 1000 KB = 1 MB to interpret the output in megabytes.