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This document provides steps to help you to manage your server's hard drive space.


We strongly recommend that you keep at least 10% of your server's available disk space free.

Examine disk space usage

To examine your system's disk space usage, run the following command:

df -h

The output will resemble the following example:

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/LogVol00  288G  189G   85G  70% /
/dev/sda1              99M   47M   48M  50% /boot
tmpfs                 252M     0  252M   0% /dev/shm
/usr/tmpDSK           485M   11M  449M   3% /tmp

This output indicates that the system's main storage device (/dev/mapper/LogVol00) in the root (/) directory uses 70% of its available disk space and contains 85 GB of free space.

Examine disk space usage by file and directory

If your system currently uses too much disk space, perform the following steps to identify files to delete:

  1. To determine which files and directories consume most of your hard drive space, run the du command.

    The output will resemble the following example:

    372K   ~
    107M   etc
    113 G home
    253M   lib
    20K   LICENSE
    2.6M   locale
    16K   lost+found
    64K   mbox_backup
    8.0K   media
    8.0K   mnt
    418M   opt
    0   proc
    12M   pub
    4.0K   pub-htaccess.txt
    648K   templates
    14K   tmp
    64K   tools
    5.4G   /var


    • We recommend that you only run this command in off-peak hours to prevent additional load on your server.
    • The numbers in the left column represent the sizes of the files and directories that the working directory contains, in human-readable format.

    In this example, the /home directory, which generally contains the system's cPanel account data, uses the most disk space (113 GB). Because in most cases you cannot delete your users' data, examine the second largest directory (the /var directory) for disk usage data.

  2. To examine the desired directory, run the following command:

    du -sh /var/*

    The output will resemble the following example:

    12K	/var/account
    4.0K	/var/aptitude
    28K	/var/aquota.user
    938M	/var/cache
    559M	/var/cpanel
    4.0K	/var/cvs
    24K	/var/db
    32K	/var/empty
    8.0K	/var/games
    173M	/var/lib
    8.0K	/var/local
    36K	/var/lock
    3.7G	/var/log
    0	/var/mail
    10M	/var/named
    8.0K	/var/nis
    8.0K	/var/opt
    44K	/var/portsentry
    8.0K	/var/preserve
    144K	/var/profiles
    16K	/var/proftpd
    16K	/var/proftpd.delay
    4.0K	/var/
    4.0K	/var/proftpd.scoreboard
    8.0K	/var/quota.user
    8.0K	/var/racoon
    1.2M	/var/run
    16M	/var/spool
    4.0K	/var/state
    14K	/var/tmp
    4.0K	/var/vzquota
    44K	/var/www
    20K	/var/yp

    This output indicates that the /var/logs/ directory uses the most disk space.


    Log files use disk space quickly. To retain recent log file entries, perform the additional steps in the Retain log entries section below.

  3. Repeat this process until you locate files that you wish to remove.
  4. To delete the desired files, run the following command, where filename represents the file to remove:

     rm -f filename


    Exercise caution when you run the rm utility. You cannot recover files or directories that you delete.

Retain log entries

Log files often use a large amount of disk space. To retain the system's most recent log file entries when you remove excess log files, perform the following steps:

  1. If you have not already located the specific files to remove from this directory, run the du command.

  2. Examine the command's output to determine the files to delete.
  3. For each file, run the following commands, where filename represents the file's name.

    tail -5000 filename >
    mv filename
  4. To release the file lock, restart the service that created the file.

SMART errors


Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) errors may indicate hard disk failures or other problems. Only disable SMART errors if you understand these risks.

To disable SMART errors, run the following commands:

touch /var/cpanel/disablesmartcheck

Additional documentation