A disk quota
is a limit set by a system administrator
that restricts certain aspects of file system
usage on modern operating systems
. The function of using disk quotas is to allocate limited disk space in a reasonable way.
Types of quotas
There are two basic types of disk quotas. The first, known as a usage quota
or block quota
, limits the amount of disk space that can be used. The second, known as a file quota
or inode quota
, limits the number of files and directories that can be created.
In addition, administrators usually define a warning level, or soft quota
, at which users are informed they are nearing their limit, that is less than the effective limit, or hard quota
. There may also be a small grace interval
, which allows users to temporarily violate their quotas by certain amounts if necessary.
Disk quotas are typically implemented on a per-user or per-group basis. That is, a system administrator
defines a usage or file quota specific to a certain user or group.
In doing so, an administrator can prevent one user from consuming an entire file system's resources, or create a system of tiered access, whereby users can have different levels of restriction. This is used, for example, by web hosting
companies to provide different levels of service based upon the needs and means of individual clients.
In most cases, quotas are also specific to individual file systems. Should an administrator want to limit the usage of a specific user on all file systems, a separate... Read More