Managing storage usage#

File system quota#

VSC file systems can have 2 types of quota set on them:

  • quota on the storage space

  • quota on the number of inodes

The number of inodes limits the maximum number of files that can be present in the file system (although there is no one-to-one relation between inodes and number of files).

The inode and space quota allow site admins to control the amount of data and/or number of files users create, and to prevent system wide problems in case of unexpected behavior, such as runaway jobs filling up the available space or creating too many files. A filesystem that runs out of space or inodes affects all users immediately. It is also a way to raise users’ awareness of the data their jobs produce, as storage is a limited resource and should be used responsibly.

Total space used on file systems with quota#

On file systems with quota enabled, you can check the amount of storage space that is available for you, and the amount of storage space that is in use by you.

VSC account page#

Your VSC account page shows up-to-date information about your storage usage on each of the file systems accessible to your account. This information is available in the Usage section of the View Account tab and includes:

  • total data size

  • current quota limit

  • percentage use

  • number of files used (inodes)

You will find the usage data for your personal storage space such as VSC_HOME, VSC_DATA and VSC_SCRATCH as well as your Virtual Organization if you are in one.

Terminal in the cluster#

On the system of most VSC clusters, myquota will show you for the $VSC_HOME, $VSC_DATA and $VSC_SCRATCH file systems either the percentage of the available storage space you are using, or the absolute amount. Users from Ghent university should check their storage usage using the web application.

If quota have been set on the number of files you can create on a file system, those are listed as well.


$ myquota
file system $VSC_DATA
    using 35G of 75G, 1126k of 10000k files
file system $VSC_HOME
    using 2401M of 3072M, 40342 of 100k files
file system $VSC_SCRATCH
    using 5.82G of 100G


If your file usage approaches the limits, jobs may crash unexpectedly.

Space used by individual directories#


The du command will stress the file system, and all file systems are shared, so please use it wisely and sparingly.

The command to check the size of all subdirectories in the current directory is du:

$ du -h
4.0k      ./.ssh
0         ./somedata/somesubdir
52.0k     ./somedata
56.0k     .

This shows you first the aggregated size of all subdirectories, and finally the total size of the current directory “.” (this includes files stored in the current directory). The -h option ensures that sizes are displayed in human-readable form (kB, MB, GB), omitting it will show sizes in bytes.

If the directory contains a deep hierarchy of subdirectories, you may not want to see the information at that depth; you could just ask for a summary of the current directory:

$ du -s
54864 .

If you want to see the size of any file or top level subdirectory in the current directory, you could use the following command:

du -s *
12      a.out
3564    core
4       mpd.hosts
51200   somedata
4       test

Finally, if you don’t want to know the size of the data in your current directory, but in some other directory (e.g., your data directory), you just pass this directory as a parameter:

du -h -s $VSC_DATA/input_data/*
50M     /data/leuven/300/vsc30001/input_data/somedata