CCIS Disk Quotas

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This HOWTO describes the the current CCIS disk quota policy. If you have any questions about this policy, please send mail to Please be sure to read the frequently asked questions list at the end of this page before sending mail.

Disk Space

Here are the default quota amounts as of September 2011. All accounts have at least this amount of space.

Account Type Homedir Quota Scratch Quota Total Quota
Guest 600 MB 600 MB 1200 MB
Non-CCIS majors 1200 MB 1200 MB 2400 MB
CCIS majors 1440 MB 1440 MB 2880 MB
CCIS grads 2400 MB 2400 MB 4800 MB
CCIS Ph.D. students 12 GB 12 GB 24 GB
Faculty 24 GB 24 GB 48 GB

Scratch Space

All enrolled student, faculty and staff have additional scratch space allocated to them. Scratch space is ideal for temporary file storage (e.g. your Internet browser cache).

You can find this space at /scratch/username. For example, if your home directory is /home/bucky, your scratch space would be found at /scratch/bucky.

Here are some important things you should know about this space before using it:

  • Scratch space is not backed up to tape! It may be deleted at any time. Do not save anything in this space that you can’t afford to lose.
  • The snapshots for scratch space are made with less frequency than those in /home and /proj.
  • Your scratch space is created with the same permissions as your home directory. This means it is readable by all users. If you wish to change this, please use the UNIX chmod command. As with your home directory, you should not let anybody but you write to this directory.
  • Your scratch space will not be saved should your account expire.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I appreciate the disk space, but I still need more than that, can you help me?
    CCIS is committed to providing the resources needed to serve its academic and research missions. More home directory space can be requested if:

    • you need it for class or research materials (i.e. not for personal web space or other non-CCIS related data).
    • you do not have an alternative source of space at CCIS (e.g. in /proj or /course).
    • your current space has been exhausted by class or research materials.
    • your current space is already cleaned and compressed where possible/reasonable.
    • a faculty member or the Dean is willing to approve this request.

    If your request meets these criteria, please see a faculty member or the Dean and have them request this increase on your behalf. If you do not meet these criteria, CCIS Systems will be glad to help you make the best use of your current space.

  2. I can’t find my scratch directory! I type ls /scratch, but it’s not there.
    Your scratch directory is not automatically mounted all the time; it gets automatically mounted as-needed. So it will show up when you make a reference to it, e.g., by typing cd /scratch/yourusername or ls /scratch/yourusername in a terminal window. (The same is true of your home directory, but you don’t normally notice, since your home directory is in use by your login process or your windowing environment whenever you’re logged in, so it always shows up.)
    This is slightly inconvenient for GUI use, since you can’t click-through to your scratch directory in the GUI file-manager until it’s already mounted. The way to get to your scratch directory via the GNOME file manager is to choose Go → Location… (or type Control+L) and type /scratch/yourusername in the location bar that appears. You might find it convenient to create a bookmark for your scratch directory so that it appears in the left-hand sidebar and you can just click on it.
  3. How can I tell how much space I am using and how much I have left?
    /ccis/bin/ccisquota on a Linux box will show you your current disk quota information.
  4. Where did all of my disk space go?
    For a detailed summary of your disk allocation, running this command often helps: du --exclude=.snapshot ~ | sort -nr | more. It is pretty common for people’s browser cache to use up a considerable amount of space. Try clearing your cache and see if that helps.
  5. I’d be under quota if it weren’t for the .snapshot directory, can I remove it?
    Your .snapshot directory is not counted in your quota. (That’s why the previous answer says to use “–exclude=.snapshot”.) The .snapshot directory is part of our online recovery system and cannot be removed.
  6. I seem to have the wrong user type, so my quota is wrong. How do I get this fixed?
    If you need to switch to any other type besides Ph.d. student, please send mail to If you need to switch to Ph.d. student, please contact Prof. Chan, Director of Graduate programs. In both cases, someone from the Systems group will contact you to arrange a time when you will not be logged in for the conversion to take place.

Other questions? Please send mail to

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