Creating Disk Quotas by System Administrator

The plan to set disk quotas comes from the concerns of privacy and efficiency. Efficiency, because it would be more beneficial for the company to have servers with more disk space since no one user would overfill the server with just their data. Privacy, because it would be unethical for the system administrator to delete the files of the other employees. Therefore, the suggested plan includes informing the company’s employees of the new rules and setting disk quotas on all the users’ machines.

A four-step process must be followed to implement the quotas. Firstly, the /etc/fstab file must be modified to enable the quotas for each file system. Secondly, the file systems need to be remounted using the mount command. Next, a database of quota files and a disk usage table need to be created. Lastly, the quota policies need to be assigned, depending on whether each user has the same or different quotas. In this case, unless users have a valid reason to have a higher quota – such as they work with larger files daily – all users will have the same quotas.

The difference between hard and soft limits is that instead of stopping writes to the file system when a quota is exceeded, a soft limit will warn the user of soon hitting the hard limit. This is preferred since not all users are proficient enough in data and disk memory management so that they will be able to keep track of their space all the time. Therefore, using soft and hard limits would prevent the users from constantly having problems due to exceeding the quotas.

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