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Command-line utility for filesystem disk quotas on Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, AIX
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Quotatool Commandline utility for filesystem quotas on Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris and AIX

Set 50Gb soft and hard diskusage limits for user johan on filesystem /home

quotatool -u johan -b -q 50G -l 50G /home

See more examples below



quotatool is already in your package manager:

Mac OS X

  • MacPorts sudo port sync; sudo port install quotatool
  • Homebrew brew update; brew install quotatool

Install from source code

sudo make install
(use gmake on *BSD)


quotatool { -u uid | -g gid } [ options ... ] filesystem
quotatool { -u | -g } { -i | -b } -t time filesystem
quotatool { -u uid | -g gid } -r filesystem
quotatool { -u uid | -g gid } -d filesystem

The actual arguments accepted depends on your system. Solaris, for example, doesn't support group quotas, so the -g option is useless. If your getopt() doesn't support optional arguments, then you always need to pass an argument to -u and -g.

Arguments and Options

   -u uid  username or uid.
   -g gid  groupname or gid.
           See examples below how to handle non-existent uid/gid

   -b      set block limits
   -i      set inode limits

   -q n    set soft limit to n blocks/inodes
   -l n    set hard limit to n blocks/inodes

   quotatool accepts the units Kb, Mb, Gb, Tb, bytes and blocks
   to modify limit arguments. Units are base 2 for blocks (1k = 1024)
   and base 10 for inodes (1k = 1000).
   Use +/- to raise/lower quota by the specified amount.
   n can be integer or floating point
   See examples below.

   -R      Raise only - makes sure you don't accidentally lower quotas for a user/group

   -t      time set global grace period to time.
           The time parameter consists of an optional
           '+' or '-' modifier, a  number, and one of:
           'sec', 'min', 'hour', 'day', 'week', and
           'month'.  If a +/- modifier is present, the
           current quota will be increased/reduced by
           the amount specified

   -r      restart grace period for uid or gid

   -h      print a usage message

   -v      verbose mode -- print status messages during execution
           use this twice for even more information

   -n      do everything except set the quota.  useful with -v
           to see what is supposed to happen

   -V      show version

   filesystem is either device name (eg /dev/sda1) or mountpoint (eg /home)


Set soft block limit to 800Mb, hard block limit to 1.2 Gb for user mpg4 on /home:

quotatool -u mpg4 -b -q 800M -l 1.2G /home

Raise soft block limit by 100M for non-existent gid 12345 on /dev/loop3:

quotatool -g :12345 -b -q +100M /dev/loop3

Set soft inode limit to 1.8k (1800), hard inode limit to 2000 for user johan on /var:

quotatool -u johan -i -q 1.8K -l 2000 /var

Set the global block grace period to one week on /home:

quotatool -u -b -t "1 week" /home

Restart inode grace period for user johan on root filesystem:

quotatool -u johan -i -r /


  • Grace periods are set on a "global per quotatype and filesystem" basis only. Each quotatype (usrquota / grpquota) on each filesystem has two grace periods
  • one for block limits and one for inode limits. It is not possible to set different grace periods for users on the same filesystem.

BSD-note: According to 'man quotactl', global grace periods should be supported on BSD. quotatool on BSD does the right thing, which can be confirmed with 'edquota -t'. However, the value doesn't seem to be used by the system when usage passes a soft limit.

  • Using non-existent uids/gids like ":12345" can be useful when configuring quotas on a mounted filesystem which is a separate system in it self, like when preparing an install image or repairing a filesystem from another installation.

  • Limit arguments can be specified in several ways, these are all equivalent: 1M 1m 1Mb 1 "Mb"

  • Use +/- to raise/lower quotas relative to current limits

  • Use -v (or -v -v) to see verbose/debug info when running commands

Platforms and Filesystems

quotatool currently builds and works well on:

-- Linux -- Quota formats: old, vfsv0, vfsv1 and "generic" Filesystems: ext2, ext3, ext4, ReiserFS and XFS

-- Mac OS X --

-- BSD -- FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD (ufs, ffs)

-- Solaris --

-- AIX --

Missing your favorite *nix OS? Missing a feature, or found a bug? Feel free to add an Issue on

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