How to deal with a full home folder

[This is a Wiki post. Feel free to edit!]

Every BIC user has a small “home” space (usually 4GB) on a network folder accessible from all BIC workstations under:


If your home folder becomes full, you will receive a warning message when opening a terminal. You can also check this with this command in a terminal:

quota -s

Having a full home will create many problems with many software: programs won’t open, hang, or crash, and can include issues connecting remotely. So it’s a good thing to verify when odd things start happening.

Various software will create folders in your home. This allows you to have your settings available on any workstation. Some are “hidden” (starting with a “.”); you can view them with the “all” option:

ls -lA

You can first change your Downloads folder setting in most browsers. E.g. in Chrome, go to Settings, Downloads, Location.

Other folders that can use too much space are for example:


The Trash folder will store any file you delete (send to trash) from a file manager program, until you empty it. In some file managers you can “shift-delete” to bypass the trash bin, or disable using it altogether.

The .matlab folder can becomes large especially if you have used multiple versions.

You can also use the disk usage (du) command to see which folder is large (it can take a while in big folders):

cd /home/bic/<username>
du -hd 1 

Other than deleting files, another thing you can do is to replace these by links to folders on your workstation, e.g. first move it to the new desired location:

mkdir /export02/data/<username>/home
mkdir /export02/data/<username>/home/.cache
mv /home/bic/<username>/.cache/google-chrome /export02/data/<username>/home/.cache/

then create the symbolic link:

ln -s /host/<computername>/export02/data/<username>/home/.cache/google-chrome /home/bic/<username>/.cache/google-chrome

The /host/<computername> part is needed so that the link works when you log on on other workstations as well, otherwise in this example, chrome would only work when you’re on your workstation. But it will only work if your local “export0x” drive is visible through /host (/host/<computername>/export02/ in the example). If it’s not there, you must request it be added from the BIC admins.