UC San Diego SearchMenu

Quotas - Limits on Email and File Storage

Quotas are limits on individual file storage, designed to ensure that sufficient resources remain available to everyone. Every location where you can store files may have a separate size limit. For example, because you have different quota limits for your email inbox than you do for your Documents, if you have too many files in your My Documents folder on a lab computer, you will still be able to receive email.

Where can I store my files?

Home Directory

This is a general-purpose area, for personal and class use. Some classes will temporarily increase your available home directory space. Files stored here include:

Engineering students may additionally have additional storage on these servers:

  • ieng6.ucsd.edu — 100MB
  • ieng9.ucsd.edu — 100MB

Any additional storage increases are via professor's requests. If you would like to see your quota limits for your specific account, use our Account Lookup tool.


Always save files on lab machines to the "My Documents" folder on your network drive. Other locations (such as the Desktop) may be used for temporary storage, but should be moved before you log out of the machine or they will be deleted.

How do I know if I am over my quota?

UNIX Quota Problems

"Disk quota exceeded" warning

Some filesystems support "soft" quotas. When you go over the soft quota, you are given a warning, but the operation still finishes writing properly. Check quotas and remove files to make sure you reduce usage to below the soft quota. If your usage remains above the soft quota for too long, the grace period time limit will expire and your account will not be able to store files properly.


If you are over your allocated quota, you will not be able to log into Linux lab machines.

Fixing Quota Problems

Use a program such as SSH to login to your account to run Unix commands. Enter the "quota" command at prompt

quota -v

This will show how much of your quotas you have used. If you want to know which filesystem your home directory is on, enter the "pwd" command.


If you see that the quota and the limit are the same, then this filesystem does not support the "soft" quota feature that gives you warnings before you actually hit the hard limit.

Finding and removing expendable files

Use the "du -sh" command to obtain a report of the space used in a specific directory

du -sh <directory name>

If you are familiar with shell job control commands you can suspend the VI session, remove files to make space, resume the VI session and save your work.

Removing files
rm <file name>
rmdir <directory name>


Remember that the directory must be empty for the rmdir command to work

If you would like more options, enter into the prompt:

man rm