Conserving Disk Space

Want better disk storage efficiency? Here are several things you can do to conserve more disk space:

Configure filesystems with small block sizes. This entails a performance penalty if your system stresses per-process throughput. However, it is not a bad option if you can decide which filesystems really need good performance.

Configure filesystems with less free space. This will free up some storage but not much (at most 10 percent, assuming youre starting from a standard configuration). In turn, it will have a negative effect on disk performance.

Use the compress utility to shrink files that you dont access often. To compress usually makes ASCII files 30-50 percent smaller.

Institute some form of rationing by enabling disk quotas or limiting the size of files users can create.

Clean out filesystems regularly. It is surprising how much trash occupies a typical filesystem: core dumps, checkpoint and backup files created by editors, old object modules, and other stuff. By using cron and find, you can automate the cleaning process.

Delete files that arent used. If no one plays the UNIX games, theres no reason to keep them on the system. Be careful though. If you delete a popular game, sooner or later every user will have a private copy, and youll have even less free disk space than when you started. Also beware of deleting system files (aside from games), thats a risky business.

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From System Performance Tuning by Mike Loukides

OReilly + Associates, Inc., 1998

For ordering information: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/spt/index.html

This was first published in February 2000

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