Comprehensive web hosting: filesystem quotas

Comprehensive web hosting is provided in different storage bands (see the charges page for details). This page describes how these bands are managed, how you can view how much space you are using, and the details of the warnings that we send out when you are close to the top of your storage band.

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When you select a web hosting band, we set up limits on the web server reflecting the storage band you chose. There are two limits that get set, a soft limit and a hard limit. When you go over the soft limit you have 7 days before restrictions come into place, and if you go over the hard limit the restrictions come into place instantly. Once you go back under the soft limit the restrictions will be automatically removed. The restrictions in this case are that you or your web site code will not be able to create any more files, or to increase the size of your current files.

For example, if you have chosen the 250MB band, then the soft limit is 250MB, and the hard limit is 384MB. This means that you are free to use any amount of space under 250MB, but once you go over the soft limit of 250MB, you have 7 days before you will not be able to create new files or increase the amount of space your current files use. This will also happen if you ever use more than 384MB.

Currently this only applies to the files on the web server, and not to the amount of space used by any databases that are associated with your site.

Quota limits do not apply to files within the logs directory.

There are various ways you can find out how much space you are using, for example to see how much space the site uses you can ssh into and run:

username@access:~$ du -sh*

Which will return something similar to:


(Quota limits do not apply to files within the logs directory)

Finding large files or directories can be done by:

cd htdocs
du -sh * | sort -h

The webquota command will report on all of your sites, although the usage information is only updated once an hour.

username@access:~$ webquota

An example output of running this command is:

Please Note:
the quota information for your web sites is *not* live information
as as such may be up to an hour out of date (hosted on
    Usage: 64 KB  Quota: 256000 KB

If your site is over quota, we will email a warning to the technical contacts for the site. We check for usage hourly, but you will only receive warnings once per site per week.


Dear Sir / Madam,

The disk usage for your website
hosted on
is over your quota:

Space used: {{ contract.BlockUsed }} of {{ contract.BlockSoftLimit }} KB

Please can you log in to and remove or compress
files to reduce space:

Alternatively, if you would like to increase your quota, please have 
the website billing contact confirm this request via email to

Prices are located here:

If you have any questions or concerns, please do contact us at

Best wishes,


Michael Howe
Unix Platform Services Team Leader
IT Services, University of Oxford

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