ACCC Online Disk Space Policy

Revision Date: October 19, 2010
Version: 1.00

Summary of Disk Space Allocations

There are three types of free ACCC online storage available to each member of the UIC community -- faculty, staff, and student. In each case, you use your UIC netid and ACCC common password to access the storage.

  1. Online Storage for ACCC Unix Workstations and the UIC Web Servers, www.uic.edu and www2.uic.edu:

    • For students, accounts on icarus: 20 MB for files and personal Web pages and an additional 20 MB for email (Inbox only, the disk space taken up by other mailboxes counts towards the 20 MB quota for files.)
    • For faculty and staff, accounts on tigger: 25 MB for files and personal Web pages and an additional 50 MB for email (Inbox only, the disk space taken up by other mailboxes counts towards the 25 MB quota for files.)
    • For faculty and sponsored students, accounts on argo: Argo is the ACCC's compute cluster for research and number crunching, so the quotas are much larger: 10 GB = 10,000 MB in your home space. Also, please be reasonable in your use of argo's scratch space; file in the scratch space may be deleted without notice at any time.
  2. For everyone, email accounts on Mailserv: 2 Gigabytes = 2000 MB. You can have an account on icarus or tigger and on mailserv, but you cannot do email on both. Mailserv is much preferable because it has a much larger online storage allotment. See the Mailserv FAQ for more information.
  3. ACCC Personal Blackboard WebDisk: 100 MB for personal online storage and for publishing Web pages.
    • In the ACCC PC Labs: 100 MB. Your personal Blackboard WebDisk that is mounted automatically for you when you log into a computer in the ACCC public personal computer lab; see Personal WebDisks.
    • On the Web: Blackboard WebDisks can also be accessed from the Web: http://webdisks.uic.edu
    • ADDA/Departmental/Class related Webdisks: In addition to personal WebDisks, the ACCC provides WebDisks for departments, groups, and classes at no charge. These WebDisks can be up to 500 MB and are an ideal solution for sharing files among groups of individuals; see Group WebDisks.

All the files stored on the above spaces are backed up by ACCC.

Requests for additional disk space

In general, quotas will be increased one time for free, upon request and based on need. The details depend on the system in question.

  • For WebDisks, after an initial, one-time, no-charge, increase, additional amounts of disk space can be purchased in blocks of 10 GB for $200 each.
  • For ACCC Unix servers, see What to Do When You Disk Space is Getting Full below.

If you have any questions regarding disk space or to request more, please send an email to consult@uic.edu.

How to tell how much disk space you're using

On icarus

Icarus will tell you and we will send you warning email messages when your home directory quota is 70% or more filled. Use the Email Diagnostics and Quota Page. (Use this; it has lots of information, including lists of your largest email messages, and tools that allow you to download and delete entire mailboxes.) Or login to icarus and enter the command:

quota -v

On mailserv

We will begin sending you warning email messages when your home directory quota is 70% filled. Use the Email Diagnostics and Quota Page. (Use this; it has lots of information, including lists of your largest email messages, and tools that allow you to download and delete entire mailboxes.) 

On tigger

Tigger will tell you and we will send you warning email messages when your home directory quota is 70% or more filled. Use the Email Diagnostics and Quota Page. (Use this ; it has lots of information, including lists of your largest email messages, and tools that allow you to download and delete entire mailboxes.) Or login and enter the command:

quota

The quota command on icarus and tigger will return something like the following (which is from tigger):

Filesystem      block  quota   limit  grace files quota limit grace
/homes/home8     8316  25000 125000            59     0     0
/var/spool/mail   120  50000 150000             2     0     0

The first line gives your disk usage and quotas: "usage" is the number of 1 KB blocks you're using of your home directory quota, "quota" is your soft quota in 1 KB blocks, and "limit" is your hard quota, also in 1 KB blocks. You will receive a warning message when your disk usage exceeds your soft quota. The second line gives the current size of your email inbox and your inbox quotas. This example is from tigger, where your Inbox is kept in /var/spool/mail; on icarus, it's in /var/mail. The first number is the space currently taken up by your inbox, the second is your inbox soft quota, and the third is your inbox hard quota, all in units of KB.

Using scratch disk space

On ACCC Unix, you can save files temporarily in the /scratch directory. On carus and tigger, the lifetime of each file in the /scratch directory depends on its size:

Size Lifetime
Smaller than 512 KB 14 days
512 KB up to 5 MB 9 days
5 MB up to 10 MB 6 days
10 MB up to 25 MB 2 days
25 MB up to 50 MB 1 day
50 MB or larger not allowed

What to Do When You Disk Space is Getting Full

  1. Oftentimes the problem is email. If you are still using tigger or icarus for email, consider switching to mailserv; it has a much larger disk quota for email. The best way to do this is to use the Use the Email Diagnostics and Quota Page. In addition to telling you your quotas and how much disk space you're using, these tools lists the (largest) mailboxes you have on the server, telling you how much space each uses, listing the largest messages in them, and allowing you to download and/or delete entire mailboxes. Or, if you're already logged on to icarus or tigger, you can use the quota command as described in How to Tell How Much Space You're Using above.
    • On icarus and tigger, the email in your inbox doesn't apply to your disk space quota -- there's a separate quota for inboxes on icarus and tigger. Mailserv has only one quota; the space occupied by all your IMAP mailboxes, including your Inbox, applies to it. See Email Space Limits for ACCC Servers.
    • If you use IMAP -- with Eudora or any other personal computer email program set up to use IMAP, or with pine or WebMail, which only use IMAP -- then check the mailboxes that you keep on the server.
      • Pruning the mailboxes that you keep online might be all you need to do to go back below your quota.
      • Check in particular for large attachments; download them to your personal computer if you want to keep them or delete them if you don't need them.
      • Also move any email messages that you want to keep indefinitely to your personal computer. The only messages that you should keep on the server are ones that you need to access from anywhere, and only while you're still actively using them. Your ACCC Unix account is not a suitable place for your email archives.
  2. Look into making more efficient use of the space you have, and/or use temporary disk space.
    • Delete unneeded files, especially those that can be easily reproduced such as compiler listings and object files.
    • Use space in the temporary pools on Unix, use the /scratch directory
    • Store files in compressed form using, use: gzip
    • Download the files to a personal computer and write them out from there to a removable disk.
  3. Please do what you can to use the space you have as effectively as possible. But, if you've tried the steps listed above and you still need more space, contact the Client Services Office, Room 2267 SEL at (312)413-0003, or send email to consult@uic.edu. (Undergraduate students must have written support for their requests from their instructor or faculty supervisor.) Be sure to say why you need additional space. Smaller requests will more likely to be granted. "Smaller" is up to:
    • on icarus 4 MB soft limit, 8 MB hard limit
    • on tigger 10 MB soft limit, 20 MB hard limit
  4. If your request is for more than can be supplied by step (3) above and if you are a faculty or staff member or a graduate student, then send email to electronic mail address systems@uic.edu with the following information:
    • name
    • department, and title or position
    • phone number (or for graduate students, name and phone of their advisor)
    • machine that extra space is requested on
    • amount of space requested and duration of request; note that we are far more likely to fill short-term "loan" requests such as 30 days over long-term requests such as 1 year
    • a paragraph explaining why you need the extra space
  5. There's a monthly charge for exceptionally large disk space allocations. This applies to:
    • requests on icarus or tigger for 500 MB or more for 6-12 months
    • requests on icarus or tigger for 250 MB or more for 12+ months

Because argo is a compute server, requests for larger amounts of disk space on argo are often granted without charge, but time limits may be applied.