How much space on your storage devices do you really use or need?

I used to get by with a meager 12 GB of hard disk space and 512 MB of RAM (at greatest). I never managed to fill them up completely.

Earlier this year, I upgraded to a new computer which has 1 TB of hard disk storage, 64 GB of solid-state storage, and 16 GB of RAM. Now, though I have used half the RAM for compilation processes on occasion, I've never figured out how to use more than about 25 GB of the total disk (HDD plus SSD) space, which means I basically shouldn't have even bothered purchasing the hard disk. :frowning:

I'll admit, I am mainly a developer, tweaker, and generally a clean and tidy hard disk user, so I can't expect myself to go around wasting resources. But I presume many of you are also tweakers, and probably many of you like MATE because it gets out of your way and doesn't consume many resources.

So my question is: How much storage space do you have lying around doing nothing for you -- and how do you manage to fill up your disk (just in general terms -- I don't care exactly what podcasts you subscribe to and pull down to local storage, for example)?

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For Ubuntu MATE, it's not a whole lot. It's mainly podcasts that would do it (and packages that need to be auto removed), but I have scripts that manage those pretty nicely, deleting old podcasts since a week.

On macOS, the biggest storage hog is Xcode. The latest release is ~33GB which is insane for a 2017 MacBook Pro with 128GB storage. In face, I feel that macOS is more prone to useless space than my install of Ubuntu MATE which I recently copied over to an external drive.

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My needs are minimal. When I bought a new laptop I went with a 250 gig SSD. It is about 40% full. The biggest folder is 50 gigs of music. I chose a smaller hard drive because it is quicker to format, quicker to clean, and quicker to wipe if I decide to get rid of it. I have two external hard drives for storage and backup. One 250 gig and one a 1 terabyte (both only minimally full). I also use quite a few USB drives, anywhere from 16 gigs for transferring files between laptops, to 64 gigs for music files which I play on my vehicle's radio. You don't find what I listen to on the radio where I live.

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Moved everything from a 8g-250G to a 20G-500G
In real rarely using more then 100G, incl system, programs and docs
All rest is either cloud based (2Tb) or on separate swap-able SSD (500G also).
Not using USB keys for data transfer. Can't remember last time (with others...maybe)
Don't see the need for a laptop with 1 Tb or even 2Tb as they offer out there. Who would need that ? ... unless you have to move all the eff-bee-eye data overnight.... :rofl: :joy:


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I typically have the maximum amount of ram possible on any of my laptops even going so far as to install a bios update if that helps. All my stuff is installed on multiple 20 GB partitions on a 465 GB SSHD, including three MATE operating systems, a 350 GB data partition, and 4GB swap partition just in case. **

Edit**: Please see - Install Ubuntu-MATE Using A Data Partition
for more on my typical data partitions.

My text files don't take up much space. The real source of what tends to fill up my data partition is DVD rips. No more DVD discs in this house.

Another desktop has been given to me with enough storage space to keep one of my desktops going for at least this year.

Most of my under powered machines (2 GB RAM, skimpy CPU) stored some their data files on a local server in another part of the house. However, every machine (with few exceptions) can act as a server if desirable. Back-ups happen as often as needed and my local network is reasonably efficient. I tend to fill up whatever storage is available.

Nice question Mr. Squash.

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My primary box has a 160GB spinning rust drive, it's dual boot (impish & focal) so it's sort of divided into two (both share the same swap partition to save disk space...) with separate /home for each that is slightly larger than the /.

On this box my / partitions are about 27GB, and I regularly (every month or two) run into space issues (esp. on the development one) where I have to remove packages so I can upgrade normally again. I wish I'd given myself a little less space on /home & given myself 32GB for each /. I have no wasted disk space on this, my primary box.

(Note: I tend to bloat my boxes; loading packages for support questions and on occasion forgetting to remove them... I also have multiple DEs installed. I also have a [still sealed] larger drive for this box; but swapping means I need to turn the box off :frowning:)

I do have much larger network storage where almost all my files go (eg. podcasts, ISOs etc). It's not loaded with unused space though.

What I do have is many external drives I used for backup purposes at various times, usually long ago.. I wouldn't know how many such drives I have that could be re-used because they hold backups to stuff I no longer want (most will be old; 1TB, 1.5TB, some even smaller etc).


Interesting. I guess I'm not really missing out on any novel use of this disk space, so I guess the hard disk is mostly unnecessary after all. Maybe I should subscribe to some podcasts I'm interested in.

Thank you all for the information. I've made my decision but commentary can continue anyway; maybe this can become like the "Post your desktop today" thread?

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Counting only the "active" machines I have just over 10TB total, with my desktop owning roughly half of that, and my NAS owning the other half. The other machines have a 240GB SSD in the HTPC (which can't fit a 3.5" drive, and the small SSD was so cheap that I would have gone with that anyway) all the way down to a 32GB SD card for the Pi.

More specifically, the PC and NAS both have 4TB HDDs, which I use to mirror the important stuff on each. The PC also has a 1TB SSD, and the NAS also has another 2TB in a Passport on the back of it.

And basically all of that storage is in use. Yes, really: in fact, every year or two I have to purge a few 100GBs worth of stuff to free up some space.

The big consumers are backups, VMs, games, and media.

Like mdooley, I've long since ripped every CD and DVD I own onto the NAS: that means I can listen to or watch anything from anywhere in the house. (And being able to box up all the jewel cases and move those into a cupboard is a definite bonus!).

The backups are basically arranged so that everything critical (i.e. personal stuff like photos, emails, passwords, etc) is on another Passport, attached to the PC, so that if I have to leave the house in an emergency (wildfires etc) I know that all I need is that drive: everything else is replaceable (if a lot of work to, in some cases).
The Passport is encfs-mounted so that it's useless to anyone else if they steal it.

Also like mdooley, all of those machines can potentially act as servers in a crisis, though only the NAS has enough capacity to actually do so on a regular basis.

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First, I'm a amateurs amateur - when it comes to anything Linux. As for that 'other' O/S, I consider myself a expert for my needs, otherwise I think of myself as a victim not a true expert.

For my "Master" as I call it, I have 2 x 2Tb, 1 x 1.5 Tb, 500G, and 350G no SSDs. All HDDs.
My Master system may boot to Windows 7, Win 10, Pure OS, Ubuntu MATE, or POP O/S.
My "Workers" are two other devices with Win 7 ( 2 x 2Tb, 1 x 1.5 Tb, 2 x 1.Tb, and 1 x 500G.) and a Win 10 , (1 x 500G, 1 x 1Tb.)
There will soon be a Pi for the modem.

Since all O/S share a separate spate of folders, those folders are not as well maintained as folders that are not shared. Since I only had this set-up for a short while, filling any HDD would be quite a task.
Sometimes, a laptop with Win 10, or one with with Ubuntu are linked and can access any shared folder.

So far, I don't see filling up my Master HDDs will happen any time soon.

I don't use Clouds - anything can, and does, fall out now and then.


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Well, the storage demands vary a lot, depending on what the hobbies/businesses are.

For me, the most storage is image/video material. One mountain climbing tour (one day) can already bring up to 30 GB of material. This is an extreme example, of course. Same applies to vacation images/videos.

Then comes the backup. As all of these data is irreplaceable, there is at least one backup of it.

I didn't mentioned virtual machines and steam games. These bring a lot of more data.
Because of this, I am still dependant on magnetic drives that provide multipe TB of space each, for a reasonable price.

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Since I started using HDDs in 1985 (a Maxtor hooked up to IBM MoBo connected to a Atari 130XE - I'd say I can fill a 2TB in about 2 years and that's about the same time Windows crashes beyond repair.

How I fill it up (in general terms), is by being lousy at deleting, and being a hard-addict to software, and loads of business records.

Unfortunately, it seems with HDDs, the bigger the storage, the harder they fail. IMO.

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