If I create a new user test1 using the adduser/useradd command, how much space does Ubuntu assign to the test1 user?

What happens when I have 10 users on my system? Do all of them use the same amount of space?

  • 3
    By default any user can use up all the disk space available in total. This can be changed. – user68186 Mar 28 '18 at 19:18
  • It means the /home/test1 grows with time? – N Randhawa Mar 28 '18 at 19:19
  • I just created a new user using adduser command. It has created a home folder /home/test1 on my system. Now how much space this new user can use on my system? – N Randhawa Mar 28 '18 at 19:26

The minimum amount of space a user needs is:

$ du --human .
36K .

The maximum amount of space a user can take is 95% of the entire partition unless you set disk quotas per user or unless you change the number of reserved blocks to allow them to take more or less than 95%...

  • It means a single user in default setting can take up 90% of space. Unless I use quotas to assign specific amount for each user. – N Randhawa Mar 28 '18 at 19:30
  • 2
    I verified that in the meantime and it's 95%, but yes: you need to define disk quotas. As you're an occasional user on this site, don't forget to accept (and upvote??? :-)) if this solved your problem. – Fabby Mar 28 '18 at 19:31
  • @Rinzwind Changed "Hard drive" to "partition" (I was using OP's terminology). :-) The standard for mkfs is 5% reserved blocks for root as going beyond 95% will cause fragmentation. Read the blurb I'm linking to. ;-) – Fabby Mar 29 '18 at 7:46
  • 1
    +1. I did already upvote your answer due to the link about disk quotas :-) – sudodus Mar 29 '18 at 21:09

The standard setup is that the size of the directory /home/test1 is only limited by the size of the partition and its file system and the space allowed for standard users to access.

5% of the space in an ext4 file system is reserved for the system and for running tasks with elevated permissions.

See man mkfs.ext4,

-m reserved-blocks-percentage

Specify the percentage of the filesystem blocks reserved for the super-user. This avoids fragmentation, and allows root-owned daemons, such as syslogd(8), to continue to function correctly after non-privileged processes are prevented from writing to the filesystem. The default percentage is 5%.

  • Sorry, I started writing it before your answer was published; ninja'd by @Fabby ;-) – sudodus Mar 28 '18 at 19:35
  • Happens a lot around here @sudodus I was just a teensy bit faster... – Fabby Mar 28 '18 at 19:37
  • +1 because you said "partition" and I said "hard drive"... – Fabby Mar 29 '18 at 20:49

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