Understanding Linux Inode basics

A common problem with Linux servers is the maxing out the inodes. This article will explain what inodes are and what to do if you exhausted your inode limit on your server.

Important! inodes can only be viewed on VPS or Dedicated servers. Shared servers are monitored by our systems support to prevent inode issues.

What are inodes?

In a nutshell, inodes are the data structure Linux servers use to store information about a file. inodes are set to a specific number on your server. When you write files to the server, you are using an inode for each file. When your inodes reach their limit, you will get Disk Space errors and other strange behaviors with your site.

How do I view my servers inodes?

Below is the Linux command for finding the inodes for your server. This command is ran through shell.

df -i

Below are colors that explain what each number means in the command results. Total inodes are in Green, Used inodes are in Red, and Remaining inodes are in Orange.

Total inodes on the server

root@vps#### [~]# df -i Filesystem            Inodes   IUsed   IFree IUse% Mounted on /dev/vzfs            2000000  370952 1629048   19% / none                  131072      96  130976    1% /dev

In this case 370,952 are used and 1629048 are remaining for a total of 2000000.

What causes the inode limit to be taken?

Regular use of your server will cause you inodes to max out. VPS servers especially have a set number of inodes. When you receive an email, its stored as a file on your server. The most common source of inode usage is email. When email accounts are not cleaned out regularly and all the emails are left on the server, your inodes can be eaten up quickly.

How do I fix the inode limit?

To increase the number of inodes on your server you will need to contact our tech support to have the inodes increased for you. There is no charge and is a very simple request.

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