Check Your Linux File Space With the "Quota" Command

Quotas help protect system disk space against over-use

The Linux quota command displays users' disk usage and limits. By default, only the user quotas are printed. Quota reports the quotas of all the filesystems listed in /etc/mtab. For NFS-mounted filesystems, a call to the rpc.rquotad on the server machine obtains the necessary information.

The quota command may not be installed on your distribution.

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The command follows the following structure:

quota [ -F format-name ] [ -guvs | q ] quota [ -F format-name ] [ -uvs | q ] user quota [ -F format-name ] [ -gvs | q ] group


The quota command supports several switches that extend the base command's functionality:

  • -F format-name: Show quota for specified format (i.e., don't perform format autodetection). Possible format names are: vfsold (version 1 quota), vfsv0 (version 2 quota), rpc (quota over NFS), xfs (quota on XFS filesystem).
  • -g: Print group quotas for the group of which the user is a member. 
  • -u: An optional flag equivalent to the command's default behavior.
  • -v: Display quotas on filesystems where no storage is allocated.
  • -s: This flag will make quota try to choose units for showing limits, used space and used inodes.
  • -q: Print a more terse message, containing only information on filesystems where usage is over quota.

Usage Notes

Specifying both -g and -u displays both the user quotas and the group quotas (for the user). Only the super-user may use the -u flag and the optional user argument to view the limits of other users. Non-super-users can use the -g flag and optional group argument to view only the limits of groups of which they are members.

The -q flag takes precedence over the -v flag.

See the related quotactl for additional functionality. Use the man command to see how a command is used on your particular computer. Different distributions and kernel releases perform in different ways, so check the manpages for information specific to your OS and architecture.

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