Using RHEL 8.9, I have xfs_quota applied to each home account folder under /home. In doing xfs_quota -x -c 'limit bhard=1g ron' /home I can observe for example a cp fail when trying to copy a single file greater than the bhard limit of 1 gb into /home/ron/. That makes sense to me.

However if I only set limit bsoft=500m, and do not do a hard limit, what actually happens?

Because with a soft limit I can exceed that and there is no indication to me (if I am acting like a typical naive user) so it somewhat seems pointless? Someone tell me how as an admin I would use bsoft either by itself or in conjunction with a bhard limit to manage users carelessly dumping and leaving too much data in their home account.

Is there any reason to not do just a limit bhard=1gb on people's home account and let them find out the bhard way ?

1 Answer 1


The usual usage of soft limits is to send warning to the user about crossing the limit for particular resource. Hard limit is set to deny any action which will cross the limit.

  • how does the warning appear? I do not see anything in a SSH terminal when using putty. Does the warning only happen if the user is logged in at the console, if the system is at runlevel 5 graphical.target ?
    – ron
    Commented Feb 1 at 19:24
  • I don't have the time nor do I feel like trying every which way to understand what should or is expected to happen with a bsoft limit. Thus far my experience is it's useless in terms of user interaction.
    – ron
    Commented Feb 1 at 19:26
  • @ron, honestly I do not know how exactly notification will happen. If you are OK with hard limits just use only them :) Commented Feb 1 at 19:27

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