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Directory $HOME

Aim: Provide information about when to user's Nikhef home directory.

Target audience: Nikhef users.


Your home directory is for personal files and configuration data used only by yourself. It is shared between the Linux systems (, the Stoomboot interactive nodes) and the windows systems.


Intended use

“Dot” files, personal analysis results, draft versions of your thesis, simple scripts that ease your daily work, hobby projects, personal mails, communication with your supervisor or students, private images, etc. Personal things that will not be preserved after you leave Nikhef.

What doesn't belong in $HOME

Your ntuples (put those in dCache or /data), scripts and frameworks used by a group of colleagues (that is put in /project), log output you want to look at later (best put this alongside the results in /data), intermediate files (use $TMPDIR, or the node scratch space), your final thesis (submit it to the library, and package the plots, publications, tabular data, and histograms for submission to Zenodo).

What are the limitations?

This file system is backed-up, and a spare copy is replicated 3 times (on disk, on a local backup, and on a backup in Groningen). The size is limited by quota, typically 2 GB for starter-users, and a bit more for permanent folk. It is hosted on a resilient ‘NFS’ storage server, which is also used for other critical Nikhef services. The transaction rate is limited and abusing it will quickly impact everyone. If you need more space, ask the Helpdesk!

Did you know...

That your home directory is not readable to other users, and you can use NFS4 permissions to control access. For example to sensitive data, appraisal reports, private photos, or letters? However, your public_html/ directory can be seen from the whole web! Unless you put .htaccess controls in place, of course.