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CS Disk Storage Options

This document describes storage structures available for CS machines. Each structure has different quota and backup policies. Please familiarize yourself with the info below to effectively use our resources.

A. Home Directories

Home directories are located on the LCSR NetApp file storage device. Each machine in its cluster share the same home directory storage and accessible at: 

  • /ilab/users for ILab machines

  • /grad/users for  Graduate machines

  • /res/users for Research machines

  • /fac/users for Faculty machines.

These directories are backed up and lost files are recoverable under our restore service level. (Essentially, we keep backups for up to two months and have a fall back position in case of hardware failure.)

Accounts are given home directory quota limits in order to share this resource. Should you find your initial quota too small, you can request additional space (please give an estimate of how much more you need, how long you believe you will need it and a short jutification of what you need it for) in an email to "". (Our guideline for max quotas is 5GB for faculty, 3GB for students.) 

B. Local Filesystems

  • Freespace
    Most machines have some extra non quota disk space set aside in a partition called /freespace/local. You should note that these filesystems restrictions below.
    o Files are not backed up
    o Files are not counted toward your disk quota
    o Files in /freespace/local are automatically deleted when machines are re-installed without prior warning.
    o All files are removed between end and start of a semester without prior warning.

    On only, there are additional extra local non quota storage under the name: /aurora.cs/local1 .../aurora.cs/local9 and /aurora.cs/ssd that you can use for temporary storage. Note that this filesystems are not backed up.

    Please be a "good citizen" in your usage of these filesystems. Don't fill them up or leave large amounts of data there for long periods of time. For more information.

  • Personal USB Storage Devices
    Logging into the GNOME Desktop Environment should allow USB storage devices to appear and become accessible automatically on your desktop after plugging in the device. Please make sure to "unmount" the volume before logging out or disconnecting the device. For more assistance, email

C. Computer Science Remote Filesystems

  • Common Users
    Beginning Fall 2018, all users are allocated 100 GB quota storage. This storage has a single daily back up and there is no snapshot and can be accessed using in /common/users. This storage is accessible from any all CS Faculty/Research/Grad/iLab cluster. Please store your large data in this storage.

  • Filer Tmp
    LCSR has a raided (so any single disk failure will not cause data loss) filer with about 9 TB space available on it. The space is split into two separate temporary filesystems.  Like the local shared filesystems, this space is not counted toward your disk quota and not backed up. Usage on the filer is a matter of public record. More details on the filer are contained in a warning file in the root of each filesystem called README.this-filesystem-is-not-backed-up. The filesystems are separated as follow:
    o /filer/tmp1 (~6 TB) accessible from the faculty and research clusters and
    o /filer/tmp2 (~3 TB) accessible from the facultyresearchgrad and ilab clusters. 

  • Project space on our NetApp
    Larger amounts of space can be arranged for on our NetApp for individuals or groups needing backed up space. This space is generally subject to the same restore policy that our home directories on the NetApp are. (Essentially, we keep backups for up to two months and have a fall back position in case of hardware failure.) This space must be requested by the DCS faculty member working on the project. For details, see our page on project disk space.

  • Petabyte filers
    CBIM currently has two 1 PB file servers, but reasonable amounts of space are available for other CS users. File storage can be requested through

D. External Remote Filesystems

  • Dropbox
    All CS Linux systems have the Linux client for dropbox installed. It's a synchronization tool, which means that it copies all your files to a local file system, and keeps them in sync with the cloud copies.  You can link your dropbox account with our system. Please make sure to sync your dropbox with /common/users disk or you will quickly runs out of space.

  • Google Drive.
    All CS Linux machines can be link to Google Drive.  Please see Connecting Google Drive with CS Linux Machines. Note that this can only be done if you are using Gnome graphical interface locally or via Microsoft Remote Desktop client. This does not work if you access via ssh or X2Go client.

    The University is in the process of arranging an unlimited capacity contract with Access to is via webdav. Performance is good for copying large files, not good for operations creating lots of small files. When the arrangement is made public, we will install a script that automates setting up webdav. For systems you manage, install the davfs2 package. Then you can use mount -t davfs

  • SFTP 
    All your files can easily be access remotely. Please see documentation on  Accessing Files Remotely.

  • shfs 
    LCSR has installed sshfs on our primary clusters. You can also install it on system you run, as well as home systems. sshfs allows you to mount file systems to which you have access on any computer where you can login via ssh. Performance is at least as good as an NFS mount, and often better. In most cases this is a better option than WebDAV. For details, see



This page last updated Jul 30, 2018.