User disk quotas

We use the standard Unix quota utilities to set disk quotas.

Summary of useful commands

All of these can be executed on filehost. Some of them also work on other servers which mount NFS.

View your own quota


View another user's quota

quota -u daradib

Print a summary of every user's disk quota

repquota /dev/mapper/vg-homes

Setting custom disk quotas

Sometimes we want to set a custom disk quota for a staff member or other special snowflake (e.g. perhaps a user wants to host their research or something on OCF, which we encourage).

To make an exception, just change their quota individually using edquota -u {username}. This will open a file in your editor showing their quota. Change the soft and hard columns to the number of kibibytes you wish to allocate, then save the file.

You can disable the quota entirely by setting 0 for both the soft and hard limit, but this is not recommended because the next time somebody tries to raise disk quotas, it will "raise" your quota from "no quota" to the new quota. To mimic an infinite quota, just give the account a very large quota instead.

Raising disk quotas for every user

Are you trying to raise disk quotas for every user? Congratulations on finding this page! The SM who wrote this section spent a couple of hours trying to figure out how in the hell our automatic disk quotas were working, despite all internet documentation claiming there is no way to set default disk quotas.

Indeed, you cannot configure a default quota. You can, however, set quotas for non-existent users! We've set quotas for user IDs 1000 through 99999 in order to mimic default users.

To raise disk quotas, you can use a command like:

soft_limit="5242880"  # 5 GiB in KiB
hard_limit="5767168"  # 5.5 GiB in KiB

for i in $(seq 1000 99999); do
    quotatool -b -Rr  -q "$soft_limit" -l "$hard_limit" -u ":$i" /dev/mapper/vg-homes

The flags assure that we set a block limit (rather than an inode limit) and that we only raise quotas (so that we don't accidentally lower the quota of a special snowflake).

The "soft limit" is like a warning limit; it can be configured to be enforced after a grace period, but we don't do this. In practice, we announce the limit to the public as "X GB", with a soft limit of "X GB" and a hard limit of "X+0.5 GB".

Since the soft limit is never enforced, the real limit is the hard limit.