How to fix ‘Disk usage warning’ alerts in cPanel/WHM servers

At Bobcares, we provide outsourced technical support services for shared hosting companies. During this service span, we’ve resolved a multitude of server issues and errors.

One among the very common issues faced by cPanel/WHM server owners is getting this disk usage warning email:

The filesystem “/dev/sda6”, which is mounted at “/”, has reached “warn” status because it is 84.73% full.

Notification Type:
 warn ?

Server:
 host.*******.***

The server owners may often have a number of questions like – Is this a serious message? What should I do now? Is it safe to ignore it? and so on..

Today, we’ll discuss what this message means, how to resolve it and what are the best practices that we follow at Bobcares to avoid such recurrent warnings.

What is this message?

As seen from the message contents, this is a warning message that notifies that the disk space in ‘/’ partition of the cPanel server is 84.73% full.

As more and more websites get hosted in a shared server, its natural that the available free space in the server slowly diminishes and such warning mails come.

For proper functioning of a server, it is recommended to keep at least 10% of its disk space free. When free space gets low, cPanel sends this warning email.

Disk space warning messages should be taken seriously and sorted out with top priority. Otherwise, the server disk space can easily get filled up, causing it to crash.

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How to resolve disk space warnings

Not having enough space in the server can affect all the websites hosted in it. So whenever a disk warning is reported, we treat it as a top priority issue.

In our cPanel server management services, our engineers follow a 3-step process to handle such disk space warnings.

1. Validate the warning

Our engineers check the disk usage status in the server using the command ‘df -h’.

 

Disk usage in server

Disk usage in server

 

From this result, we understand that the ‘/’ partition is 84.73% full and hence its a valid warning email.

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2. Examine the disk usage

We have to clear some space in the server to bring the disk usage below 80%. But the files and folders to be deleted should be chosen only after a detailed check.

To check which of the folders in a partition are taking up the maximum space, our engineers use commands like these:

 

Detailed usage of folders

Detailed usage of folders

 

In the folders that are taking up the most space – /home, /var and /usr – further examination is done to pin point the files that are taking up more space.


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