The department maintains seven types of disk space: /Home, /Projects, /Scr, /Common, /Archive, /Backup, and local.


Home space. Available for storage of personal materials (mail, news, etc.) or small files related to some research projects (papers, upload/download, etc.). Summary:

  1. Private data or small, short-term research tasks.
  2. Papers, upload/download, personal mail, etc.
  3. Backed up regularly.
  4. Not for storing research data, source code, running NAMD, etc.

Current size: 9 TB.


Project space. These are medium to large partitions for relatively permanent or long-term files related to research in the TB group. Currently divided across rio, roma, and reno. Summary:

  1. Data, source, and files related to group projects, even if you are the only group member on the project.
  2. Backed up daily
  3. Stable storage -- external drives on rio/roma/reno
  4. Not for temporary or private data.

Current size: 9 TB.


There are two categories of /Scr space:

  • Short-term - files in these /Scr spaces are automatically deleted after not being modified for a certain length of time, as indicated by the name of the space (ie, in /Scr/7day-1 files are deleted after seven days). This space is for short-term storage of files, such as to analyze a data file generated and stored at NCSA or PSC.
    In order to better manage this space, the sysadmin team reserves the right to monitor this space for trends regarding file modification times and usage.
  • Long-term - files in these directories are saved until the space is needed. This is useful for storing files that can be recovered from CD/DVD if necessary, or for output files for local compute runs. Files may be deleted from these spaces without notice if the space is needed for other projects.

Current size: 500 TB

Archive Space

The Archive is for data that has been put into its final state, but should stay around the system.

Current size: 120 TB


Common software installation partitions. Rather than installing the same software on every system, we install it in one place and all hosts mount the one place. Every type of platform has its own /Common tree (/Common/sun, /Common/linux, etc).

Current size: 172 GB


All of the to-disk backups are shared in /Backup. These are on rush (backups and snapshots), and rice (off-site backup).

Current size: 24 TB.


Local disk space is generally not accessable to users. This space is reserved for system files, local temp files, and spools (printing, mail, etc.). Users should use /home, /Project, and /Scr, and /scratch for their daily work.

Files in /tmp, /usr/tmp, and /var/tmp are flushed after 7 days or when there are system problems due to missing local disk space. They are also flushed upon a system reboot. Additionally, files in spools may be removed without notice.

Known Problems

  • Many disk partitions are near or at 100% full.
  • Many files are links to other links to other files. This makes following an installation very difficult. Many of these links traverse automounts, causing additional network traffic.
  • If the system exporting a system /Common partition goes down, all machines using that partition will hang. This can be solved by having a local version of the /usr/local tree on that system, which is often good for specific critical servers (mail, web, etc), but leads to variation between systems.