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Keeping your home folder clean

We set quite restrictive quotas for user homes, but in exchange you get file system snapshots and mirroring. Your home folder should therefore only be used for scripts, your user config, and other small files. Everything else should be stored in the work or scratch subdirectories, which effectively link to your group's shared storage space. This document describes some common pitfalls and how to circumvent them.


The tilde character (~) is shorthand for your home directory.

Code libraries and other big folders

Various programs are used to depositing large folders in a user's home and can quickly use up your allotted storage quota. These include:

  • Python: ~/.local/lib/python*
  • *conda: Location chosen by the user.
  • R: ~/R/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-library
  • HPC portal: ~/ondemand

Please note that directories whose name is starting with a dot are not shown by the normal ls command, but require the ls -a flag. You can search your home folder for large directories like so:

$ du -shc ~/.* ~/* --exclude=.. --exclude=.

You should move these locations to your work folder and create symbolic links in their place. Conda installations should be installed in work from the very beginning as they do not react well to being moved around.

Here is an example for the .local folder.

$ mv ~/.local ~/work/.local
$ ln -s ~/work/.local ~/.local

Temporary Files

Another usual culprit is the hidden .cache directory which contains temporary files. This folder can be moved to the scratch volume in a similar manner as described above.

$ mv ~/.cache ~/scratch/.cache
$ ln -s ~/scratch/.cache ~/.cache


Files placed in your scratch directory will be automatically removed after 2 weeks. Do not place any valuable files in there.