What is the difference between Disk Space and Inodes?

Linode Staff
My disk isn't full, but I see I'm using up all of my inodes? What are inodes? What's the difference between that and disk space?

1 Reply

An important part of running a server is managing disk space. This doesn't just mean files and how large they are; it includes the references to and information about those files, known as inodes. This page covers inodes in detail. In short, your disk can only have a specific number of files (or inodes) on them at a time determined by the size of the disk. This is an additional limitation for what can fit on the disk aside from just how much data can be on there.

To view your Linode's disk space you can run the following command:

df -h

To view your inode usage you'll want to run:

df -ih

Running out of inodes produces a unique issue, as you cannot simply make more. The only way to increase your inodes is to resize your disk. For most this will involve resizing your Linode to a larger plan size. You can also switch some of your files over to Block Storage which will free up inodes on your main disk. To decrease the number of inodes on main disk you can decrease the number of files on the disk. I would also recommend looking at this answer on the Community Questions site for more information about addressing a disk that is filling up.


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