CentOS server – Simple quota howto

From time to time you can run into storage issues where users are uncontrolled and they decide to use your storage as their own. There are several solutions for this problem and I’ll tell you the two of them. The first solution is to delete their account and brake their arms so they won’t be able to use computer at all. This solution is now always acceptable so you should check the second one…


I suppose that your users are located inside /home dir and that /home is a mounting point for user partition (separate partition). The first step is to install quota with

yum install quota

Edit /etc/fstab and add ,usrjquota=aquota.user,grpjquota=aquota.group,jqfmt=vfsv0 to the /home partition

# /etc/fstab
# Created by anaconda on Tue Apr 17 08:39:51 2012
# Accessible filesystems, by reference, are maintained under '/dev/disk'
# See man pages fstab(5), findfs(8), mount(8) and/or blkid(8) for more info
UUID=34ccss6f-5e34-4bbc-9ccf-ceeee02aba48 /                       ext4    defaults        1 1
UUID=5e345306-3a4a-48c8-bbaa-3a8ffefa4979 /home                   ext4    defaults,usrjquota=aquota.user,grpjquota=aquota.group,jqfmt=vfsv0        1 2
UUID=69433540-fa75-4ae3-8726-755e4afe0776 swap                    swap    defaults        0 0
tmpfs                   /dev/shm                tmpfs   defaults        0 0
devpts                  /dev/pts                devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
sysfs                   /sys                    sysfs   defaults        0 0
proc                    /proc                   proc    defaults        0 0

Then remount /home with

mount -o remount /home

After remounting you need now to run an initial quotacheck command which will analyse all files on the partition and creates the aquota.user and aquota.group files in the /home root. Please keep in mind that this operation could take hours if you have a lot of files.

quotacheck -avugm

and you will get something like

quotacheck: Scanning /dev/sda2 [/home] done
quotacheck: Cannot stat old user quota file: No such file or directory
quotacheck: Cannot stat old group quota file: No such file or directory
quotacheck: Cannot stat old user quota file: No such file or directory
quotacheck: Cannot stat old group quota file: No such file or directory
quotacheck: Checked 131 directories and 865 files
quotacheck: Old file not found.
quotacheck: Old file not found.

which is Ok.

Activate the quota with

quotaon -avug

and you wil get

/dev/sda2 [/home]: group quotas turned on
/dev/sda2 [/home]: user quotas turned on

Useful commands

To see which users uses what amount of space (blocks) and files (inodes) you can use repquota command.

repquota /home

The output will be similar like>

*** Report for user quotas on device /dev/sda2
Block grace time: 7days; Inode grace time: 7days
                        Block limits                File limits
User            used    soft    hard  grace    used  soft  hard  grace
root      --      24       0       0              3     0     0
user1   --      32       0       0              8     0     0
user2    -- 43860472       0       0            135     0     0
user3     -- 91739332       0       0            795     0     0
user4      --      32       0       0              8     0     0
user5    +- 1326272   10000   15000  7days    4090     0     0

To set user quota you can use command setquota

setquota -u user1 -F vfsv0 0 1000000 0 0 /dev/sda2

The numbers 0 1000000 0 0 will set up:
0 – no soft quota for block size
1000000 – 1000 MB hard quota
0 – no soft quota for file amount
0 – no hard quota for file amount

To edit user quota manually you can use command edquota

edquota user5

and you will get

Disk quotas for user user1 (uid 508):
  Filesystem                   blocks       soft       hard     inodes     soft     hard
  /dev/sda2                   1326272      0      1000000       4090        0        0

(press i to enable edit, change the values and press Esc. Then enter :wq! to save the changes)

To edit group quota enter

edquota -g GROUP

where the GROUP is specific group.

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